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Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Ascendacy Paperback – Bargain Price, April 2, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Review

E. J. Dionne Jr. author of Why Americans Hate Politics and They Only Look Dead Read Nina Easton's fine book if you care about where American politics is going. And, especially, read it if you enjoy an elegant page-turner of a biography.

Joe Klein author of Primary Colors and The Running Mate What fun! A cross between The Best and the Brightest and Revenge of the Nerds. Nina Easton brings a strange and wonderful cast of characters to life in a book that is serious and often hilarious.

Mark Shields syndicated columnist; political commentator, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Gang of Five is an intriguing chronicle of the human element behind the Right's successful, if hostile, takeover of much of American politics in the last twenty-five years. Scrupulously researched, stylishly written, Gang of Five grasps what most infuriates liberals about the ascendant Right -- that it has beaten the Left at its own game. Nina Easton reveals a Right that has made many of the same mistakes that led to the demise of the liberal establishment: scorning compromise, overreaching, pursuing power as a blood sport.

Paul Gigot columnist, The Wall Street Journal; political commentator, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer The rise of the political Right caught most journalists by surprise because they didn't take conservatives seriously. Nina Easton is a rare reporter who does. She almost never agrees with her five prominent profile subjects, but her illuminating book shows what they believe, why they believe it, and how they're succeeding.

About the Author

Nina J. Easton is a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times. An award-winning writer, her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Esquire, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, and other major publications.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743203208
  • ASIN: B005M4TXTI
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,730,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bernie Latham on May 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
For serious students of the conservative movement or for those just interested in better understanding of how modern American conservatives have managed to gain the influence we can witness in 2014, this book really is a must-read. Of the five subjects focused on by Easton, only David Macintosh has receded somewhat in importance now. The other four, Bill Kristol, Clint Bolick, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed remain key figures of influence whose past and present influence you really need to understand.

Easton is not only a disciplined researcher, she's a very fine writer and her book presents no hardship for even the casual reader. She's both deeply informative and a delight to read.

And to correct one other review noted here which presents the ad hominem claim that Easton is a "leftist", we ought to note that she is a regular on Fox and is married to Russell Schriefer, a Republican political strategist who was the senior advisor to the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Slemrod on October 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Gang of Five" is an excellent, behind-the-scenes look at five individuals who played a large part in shaping the Republican power structure as we know it today. Although the book was written nearly six years ago, Easton's insightful journalism is especially relevant due to the Jack Abramoff scandal. Abramoff plays a large part in the book, as he ran the College Republicans with pals Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed.

To understand the Republican Party, you must read this book. Easton's knowledge spans the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton years, and goes beyond the personalities you see in the media to paint a picture of a party rooted in college activism, philosophy, and a desire to push the country to the Right.

This book comes highly recommend to anyone interested in our political strucutre, Republican or Democrat.
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8 of 41 people found the following review helpful By R. Pyle on October 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
First, lets consider the source. Nina appears to be a very nice person and very attractive. But she is a liberal. She writes for the Boston Globe, not a publication who is tolerant of conservative views. This is akin to having Yankees fans review the Red Sox fans conduct. Its not only skewed but also deliberately contrived to create a sinister appearance and motive of the 'five'.

Second, she chose five people of which only really two were actually major movers in the GOP or conservative movement. Maybe she should have asked around first if she actually knew any conservatives she could have surveyed for some names to start with.

Mostly, this book is harmless and a rehash of already public information. Ralph Reed is a smooth talker and more moderate in tone than Pat Robertson. Boy, that's gonna be a headline someday.

I'm sure that liberals will gleefully read about how evil, heartless and conniving those conservatives are trying to organize things so they can win elections without the public knowing it. Its hardly news and its hardly unusual considering that we have already had to live through Carville and Begala.
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