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The Emerging Republican Majority Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 482 pages
  • Publisher: Arlington House; First Edition edition (1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870000586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870000584
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,455,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Ruffini on January 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
...but maybe they should. Kevin Phillips' 1969 classic, The Emerging Republican Majority, remains the most concise and dependable guide to historical voting trends in the United States in the 20th century. The book itself is notorious for urging that Republicans pursue a "Southern strategy" and abandon the liberal establishmentarian constituencies in the northeast that had previously held sway over the party, but its real value is in the rich historical background Phillips provides. Phillips can be said to have been successful in spotting a realignment that was then very recent (first manifesting itself in 1964) and proclaiming its continuation well into the future. Other tectonic shifts in American politics have not proven so long-lasting. In many ways, the Eisenhower coalition of 1952 and 1956 seemed more formidable than the coalition Phillips describes, but it could not be sustained without the former General's personal appeal. More recently, one also recalls Arthur Schlesinger's 1992 prediction that Bill Clinton's election augured the beginning of a new 30-year cycle of liberal governance, a hope which would be dashed by the Republican takeover of Congress 24 months later.
Above all, what I learned from The Emerging Republican Majority is that most shifts in voting behavior from election to election really do have rational explanations rooted in policy and in the candidates' important personal traits. Those who have been able to anticipate these coming shifts have a distinct advantage in winning elections.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on February 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Kevin Phillips wrote this perceptive book about U.S. politics and a rising conservative trend right after the 1968 Presidential Election. Phillips notes that Richard Nixon's razor-thin (44-43%) victory over Democrat Hubert Humphrey that year was more conservative than realized once you factor the 13% that went to George Wallace. Phillips suggests that his Republican party cast off its remaining northeastern liberalism and court southern whites. Such policy alienated many liberals and blacks, and seemed semi-racist even to moderates. Still, it's effectiveness is apparent. Southern whites have helped the GOP win seven of the last ten Presidential elections. From 1968-2004 no Democrat other than southerners Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton has won a single electoral vote in the deep south (or reached the White House). The lasting effectiveness of Phillip's strategy shows in the close elections of 2000 and 2004. Nearly 70% of white voters in the South and Border states supported George W. Bush over Al Gore and John Kerry, helping Bush sweep the region's 15 states and 179 (2000) or 184 (2004) electoral votes.

Author Kevin Phillips is a former Nixon staffer and current radio/tv commentator who left the Republican fold in disgust for the Party's adherence to war, oil, and the religious right. Whatever your politics, you can learn from his perceptive if slightly thick prose. Readers might also enjoy his recent book AMERICAN THEOCRACY.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Not Moses on April 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Kevin Phillips has written a good dozen books built (at least to some extent) on the thesis he set forth for the first time in =TERM= well over 40 years ago. =American Theocracy= may be the apotheosis of that thesis, but it also appears in his newest, =1775=, and his terrific -- of somewhat overkilling -- examination of the English and American civil wars, =The Cousins' Wars=.

So what's the thesis: That American politics is controlled by religious beliefs because the people who vote and get involved tend to be... religious. (In =both= political parties.) They do so because they are rule-observant and dutiful. He cites voluminous demographic research to give credence to his assertions that...

1) specific ethno-religious groups have long held beliefs, values, idea(l)s, attitudes, principles, assumptions, convictions and doctrines (e.g.: against abortion, against gay marriage, male dominance / female subordination) that could be the grist for effective appeals by those who understood those religious convictions; and

2) specific appeals could be designed, tested for effectiveness, fine-tuned, and then widely communicated to those religious target audiences.

Karl Rove did precisely this in the '90s and '00s, but Phillips had himself played these cards for Nixon in '68 and '72. Republican strategists ever since have done so... but Democratic operatives like James Carville, Terry McAullife and Rahm Emmanuel did likewise in an even more fine-tuned fashion for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama with just =enough= success where it mattered to knock the Republicans out of the box in a few, key "swing" states.

What was "playing the religious racist card" in the Nixon era is now (far more euphemistically) called "values politics.
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