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Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream [Kindle Edition]

Ross Douthat , Reihan Salam
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In a provocative challenge to Republican conventional wisdom, two of the Right's rising young thinkers call upon the GOP to focus on the interests and needs of working-class voters.Grand New Party lays bare the failures of the conservative revolution and presents a detailed blueprint for building the next Republican majority. Blending history, analysis, and fresh, often controversial recommendations, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam argue that it is time to move beyond the Reagan legacy and the current Republican power structure. With specific proposals covering such hot-button topics as immigration, health care, and taxes, Grand New Party shakes up the Right, challenges the Left, and confronts the changing political landscape.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Coauthored by Atlantic Monthly writers Douthat and Salam, this book (like David Frum's Comeback) is part of a movement to reconstruct the Republican Party's core principles and reinvigorate the conservative electorate. The authors' strategy is to win back the working class through a combination of prudent government intervention and entrepreneurship. Relying on a bevy of sociological analysis, class scrutiny and historicism—a style resembling New York Times columnist David Brooks's, but stripped of his literary flair—Douthat and Salam take a nuts-and-bolts approach, perhaps because their book is prescriptive rather than observational, policy advocacy not entertainment. Whether or not readers will agree with the tenor of their arguments, rarely have moderate conservative ideas been so intelligently streamlined and so self-consciously pruned of conservatism's hairier iterations. The real holes in the text are the lack of cogent discussions on immigration and the war against radical Islam—the very issues currently shaping working-class politics in America. Nevertheless, this book is stuffed with fresh and brilliant ideas and presents a solid domestic conservative agenda to win over blue-collar workers. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“If I could put one book on the desk of every Republican officeholder, Grand New Party would be it. . . . The best single roadmap of where the party should and is likely to head.”—David Brooks, The New York Times “Any Republican politician worried about his party's eroding base and grim prospects should make a careful study of this book.”—The New Yorker“Smart and intriguing. . . . Grand New Party is brimming with ideas.”—Los Angeles Times“Thoughtful and important. . . . Mr. Douthat and Mr. Salam are pioneering tomorrow's conservatism today.”—U.S. News & World Report“A valuable guide to the problems and prospects of both the GOP and the working class.”—New York Post“An entirely original critique of how both liberals and conservatives have misdiagnosed the problems of a key American constituency.”—Commentary Magazine“Thoughtful and important-a guidebook for Republicans in distress.”—David Frum, author of Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again and The Right Man“If you want to read a serious, sane, secular, constructive argument about where conservatism needs to go, this is a great place to start. Few conservatives are as honest about the practical policy challenges the right faces in an increasingly pluralist and unequal society. And very few actually have something positive to offer in the face of it. I disagreed with much of this book, but I never failed to be enlightened and provoked on almost every page.”—Andrew Sullivan, author of The Conservative Soul“We hope no Republicans read Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam's new book, because if they do, they might get an idea of how to undermine the emerging Democratic majority.”—John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira, authors of The Emerging Democratic Majority“Ross Douthat a...

Product Details

  • File Size: 327 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385519435
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DYJAI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,048 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of ideas, some are excellent July 2, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This small book does an excellent job of summarizing the political history of the Republican Party the past 60 years or so. It offers a critique of where it went, if not wrong, at least out of focus the past eight years. It is a companion to David Frum's book, "Comeback," and the authors refer to Frum's ideas frequently although he is not credited at the end. Some of their ideas I agree with, some I don't know enough about to criticize and I disagree with their health care chapter although I agree on its importance. The emphasis is on the appeal of the Republican Party to the "Sam's Club voter," a term they claim to have originated and which has been used by Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota. It is a very useful concept and the heart of this book. Their argument is that the family is a crucial institution for the lower income and less educated American. They discuss how the family, as an institution, has been badly damaged in the past 40 years and they offer suggestions on how to undo some of the damage.

The first three chapters are probably the best and summarize the history of attempted Republican reforms that would attract the working class voter to form a new coalition after the Roosevelt New Deal coalition broke up in the 1960s. They point out that, after 30 years of steady progress, wages for working class people stagnated beginning about 1973. They say little about the high inflation of the Carter years but I remember it well and think it deserves more emphasis because of its terrible effect on affordability of home ownership.

They point out, as does David Frum, that the high crime, high inflation and stagnant economy of the 70s were all mostly solved during the Reagan era and, following that, the working class had less affinity for the Republican party of George Bush.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By S. Ross
I'm center-left politically, reasonably well informed but not involved in politics. The bulk of this book is a concise but incredibly insightful political history from the New Deal forward that I couldn't put down. I read plenty of political magazines and blogs, yet on every page I would think, Yes-that makes sense! Why hadn't I thought of it that way before? I loved it so much that I bought copies of the book for four members of my family (who are mostly center-right to Rush Limbaugh right).

The authors do a great job of describing the enduring appeal of the New Deal in the mid 20th century, emphasizing that it was not only egalitarian but moralistic, then describing the trends that fractured the coalition in the the mid 60s and early 70s. I found their political history to be rich, sharp, subtle, and without precedent. I'm amazed that they could be so sensitive to the motivations and excesses of both the left and the right, yet write with such verve. It's critical but evenhanded, intellectual in the best sense, never dry or academic.

In a world that seems to be a left-right Punch and Judy, an echo chamber of ideologues and bashers, this book provides a space for real dialogue. I'm no fan of GWB, but this book helped me better appreciate his intial intentions (if not his god-awful execution). It also paints a much more convincing picture of the roots of social conservatism in the working class than Thomas Franks' "What's the Matter with Kansas," which makes them look like rubes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Douthat and Salam Pitch Mostly Good Ideas to the GOP September 29, 2009
One of the easiest things to do in politics is criticize. Many political books do just that - and little else. Standing on the sideline playing Monday morning quarterback is easy and leaves little room for others to criticize you. Rare is the political science book that not only goes beyond that but actually offers concrete and practical solutions to real problems facing today's society. This is what makes Grand New Party, the joint effort by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam so unique.

In Grand New Party, Douthat and Salam criticize both political parties for forgetting the American working class and letting politics take precedence over solving problems. Yet the authors don't stop there; instead, they quickly move beyond the usual partisan bickering to offer well-crafted answers to problems facing American culture and the economy. Though both authors write from a conservative perspective, they effectively criticize both parties and provide a sound defense for their conservative beliefs and principles.

The authors claim identifying and courting working class voters is essential to each major political party if they hope to win elections. They then set out to explain how Republicans can stay true to conservative principles and win back America's working class by tackling "the threats to working-class prosperity and to the broader American Dream." Quoting Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, the authors note the Republican Party needs to focus on being the "the party of Sam's Club" instead of the "party of the country club." When defining the "working class," the authors state this is not a class of poor farmers and factory workers as the Democrats so often categorize it, but a relatively affluent class that could typically be found in administrative, vocational and IT jobs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Can the Republican Party recapture the Center, or will it just keep...
The two most important books to read if you are interested in America's modern political trends are this book and the Emerging Democratic Majority. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jmitch
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This is where the party needs to go, and Douthat and Salam are the best young thinkers in the conservative movement.
Published on November 30, 2012 by Jordan Cunningham
3.0 out of 5 stars Original ideas, but ignores the central problem with the GOP
Douthat and Salam have put together the most serious attempt to date of diagnosing the party's woes and prescribing a plan for its restoration. Read more
Published on October 21, 2012 by Sagar Jethani
1.0 out of 5 stars A RHINO's Dream
This book is like reading the Democratic party's to do list. It's chock full of left wing views, policies and solutions. Read more
Published on April 25, 2011 by Backeast
4.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Read
Grand New Party was a very engaging read and one that I definitely recommend. The book can be split in two with the first part being a political history of the working class from... Read more
Published on September 26, 2010 by Ronald C. Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Bad Wonks Don't Run The Republican Party
"Grand New Party" provides some great background and good policy ideas. The key idea is to put families, and particularly working families at the center of policy decisions. Read more
Published on August 17, 2010 by Conservative Postmodern Polyglot Abroad
4.0 out of 5 stars Dispatches from a party in triage
The United States has a lot of problems. On occasion, someone might have a bright idea on how to solve those problems. Read more
Published on August 8, 2010 by Karl Wolff
4.0 out of 5 stars A Smart Blueprint
Great book for anyone on the left or right that wants to understand how to govern today. While this book is certainly a treatise on what the Republican Party can do to become... Read more
Published on October 23, 2009 by Joe Camicia
5.0 out of 5 stars Unveils the Curse of Ideology
The book that remains to be written is a discourse on why intellectuals cannot see past their (to them) invisible ideological prisms. Read more
Published on August 1, 2009 by Tholzel
2.0 out of 5 stars Democrat Lite
This book promises a lot and fails to deliver. The authors' central insight is a good one: the GOP can renew itself and its electoral appeal by focusing its policy prescriptions on... Read more
Published on January 2, 2009 by Howard Olsen
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