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Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party (Studies in Postwar American Political Development) 1st Edition
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"In Rule and Ruin, his wonderfully detailed new history of moderate Republicanism, Geoffrey Kabaservice makes a strong case that moderate Republicanism was hardier than we remember." --Timothy Noah, The New York Times Book Review
"The good guys lost; the bad guys won. That's the story Kabaservice sets out to tell in Rule and Ruin. He tells it in strong and engaging prose, often with a literary flair." --The National Interest
"Kabaservice is a wonderfully straightforward historian who does not layer on a lot of interpretive gloss...Rule and Ruin is a wonderful reminder of what was once -- not very long ago -- a vital tradition in American politics." --The New Republic
"An audacious and important history that rediscovers a great political tradition at exactly the moment when it is again needed most." --David Frum, author of Comeback: Conservatism that Can Win Again
"The radical turn of the Republican Party into a voice of right-wing extremism is one of the major themes of modern American political history. Rule and Ruin tells the whole story in stunning detail, and in prose that is as balanced as it is lucid. No study of our recent politics could possibly be more timely on the eve of the 2012 elections." --Sean Wilentz, Princeton University, author of The Age of Reagan
"Meticulously researched and compellingly written, Rule and Ruin is more than an account of the demise of moderate Republicans; it is a penetrating history of the modern Republican Party over the past half century. This is an exceptional book, and must reading for anyone who will follow with interest (or dread) the Republican race to a presidential nomination in 2012." --Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute
"In this timely work, Geoffrey Kabaservice successfully combines thorough historical research and a gripping narrative. The result is a comprehensive account of an ideological and political contest which, played out over half a century, has had a profound influence on the Republican Party and modern American politics." --Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution
"Kabaservice's book is a painstaking and well-argued attempt to resurrect the losers in the GOP's fratricidal war, the liberal and moderate Republicans, including many from the northeastern states where today their influence still lingers." --Sam Tanenhaus, The New York Review of Books
"Kabaservice ably narrates the Republican Party's fifty-year conversion from a diverse political organization into an exclusively conservative 'ideological vehicle.'...Kabaservice is
as moderate as his subject matter; he resists proposing an implausibly easy solution. He believes that third-party projects are likely "foredoomed to failure," and redistricting reforms will be "a slow process" at best." --Commonwealth
About the Author
Geoffrey Kabaservice is the author of the National Book Award-nominated The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, His Circle, and the Rise of the Liberal Establishment. He has written for numerous national publications and has been an assistant professor of history at Yale University. He lives outside Washington, DC.
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Top Customer Reviews
I struggled a little with the first chapter, which covers a lot of ground, providing an overview of moderate and conservative factions within the Republican party from 1854 to the present. However, from the second chapter onward the book has a wonderful narrative flow. Although this is a scholarly work it reads as easily as a novel, and author Geoffrey Kabaservice has an elegant style that incorporates both wit and depth. Most of the book focuses upon the 1960s. When you think about the anti-establishment protests of the `60s, you usually think of liberal college-age students dropping acid and protesting the Vietnam War. This book made me realize that another revolt was taking place during those years, on the opposite side of the political spectrum. An arch-conservative minority within the Republican party was fomenting rebellion, determined to bring down the moderate, progressive Republicans who had been in power since the days of Eisenhower.Read more ›
From today's standpoint it's difficult to imagine the word "moderate" linked with the Republican Party. But as Kabaservice notes, Eisenhower was the epitome of moderation. It was he, afterall, who warned of the dangers of the military-industrial complex, something that would likely get a modern Republican branded as a closet liberal or worse. Even the red-baiting Nixon opened relations with Communist China and signed off on classically liberal concerns such as environmental issues. From arch-conservative Goldwater's disasterous presidential bid to Reagan's inclusion of the one-time apolitical evangelicals to the rise of the Tea Party, Rule and Ruin gives us a ring-side seat to the sweeping changes that have occurred in the Grand Old Party in the span of a single lifetime.
Kabaservice traces the steps between a Republican Party concerned about civil rights and dedicated to traditional conservative issues such as promoting business and small government to today's GOP with its obsession over social issues such as abortion, gay rights and the Second Amendment. It makes for fascinating reading and Kabaservice has done in-depth research using a wide variety of resources.Read more ›
It is fitting that the book begins during the Eisenhower years, Ike being the last Republican moderate to occupy the White House and govern in that fashion. For those of us born in the early 1950s, "Rule and Ruin" takes on added meaning and nostalgia in that we tend to remember most of the players. When I was growing up at the time in Fairfield County Connecticut, our neighbors were "Rockefeller Republicans"...fiscally conservative and socially moderate. Those people have all but disappeared...not from sight but from the GOP. The vast majority of them became Democrats or Independents.
This book centers around the decades of the 60s and 70s when the bottom really began to fall out for GOP moderates. Kabaservice introduces "Advance" magazine, a publication dedicated to moderate causes and candidates. While the magazine didn't last long it showed the frustration of those who wished to carry out the politics, if not the spirit, of the Eisenhower administration. Moderates, buried by the conservative wrench to the right with Goldwater, nonetheless had a hard time in coalescing around candidates and nominees to be. They flirted with Rockefeller, were dazzled by Scranton and Percy, followed John Lindsay, but had to cave in to Richard Nixon's centrist appeal in 1968.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Geoffrey Kabaservice, who is an assistant professor of history at Yale University has written an interesting book here on the movement towards the far right of the Republican... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Randolph Eck
This was a fascinating book to read - absolutely loaded with information covering approximately 50 years of the political history of the GOP. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. J. Edwards
Eye opening to read the similarities from 40-50 years ago and today.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a specialized history of a specific trend within the Republican Party -- the marginalization of moderates as an internal force. Read morePublished 13 months ago by morehumanthanhuman
Very strong referencing & very good step by step progresss of the plight of the GOP & how it finds itself at this crossroads. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
I rarely write book reviews mostly because by the time I get around to writing one, most of the points I've intended to make have already been made by earlier reviewers. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jason
This is an eminently readable backstory of the origins of the ultra-right faction of the Republican Party and how they eventually captured the party and drove it off into the... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Harry Pandolfino