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The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise Hardcover – June 9, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum; First Edition edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307463699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307463692
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this disappointingly mundane book, Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, mistakes his skills at showmanship for those of critical analysis. From the Iraq War to the recent financial crisis, his arguments amount to little more than a superficial précis of the current political moment. For most readers, this book will be an ideological retread and an unimaginative slog. Unlike the recent writings of Reihan Salam and Ross Douthat, whose New Majority labored to be a prescriptive way forward for conservatives, Scarborough hardly gets outside of the well-traversed policy debates and received wisdom of Beltway professionals. While he sees his book as a blueprint for a renewed conservative politics, his only stab at unconventional thinking is to advocate a conservative embrace of green politics. For all the book's flaws, it never descends to ad hominem attacks or becomes a platform for gross personal vendettas, nor does it trade in the self-regard of the Olberman or O'Reilly variety, which is to Scarborough's credit. But these qualities are not enough to recommend readers pluck this one from the shelf, or even the bargain bin. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Conservatives need to read this book. Joe Scarborough is a real conservative.”
—Jed Babbin, Human Events

“In this engaging and timely book, Joe Scarborough undertakes a critical mission: the reinvigoration of conservatism in America. Aiming to take conservatives beyond reaction and beyond sentimentality, he asks the big questions, and does not shy away from offering answers. This is an important contribution to one of the most vital debates of the day.”
—Jon Meacham

“Joe Scarborough can save the GOP. This is a lively, likeable and important book. So my fellow Republicans–rejoice. We have a face! Now let’s get to work.”
—Christopher Buckley

The Last Best Hope is must reading for anyone who cares about the conservative movement.”
—Peggy Noonan

More About the Author

Former congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) is the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, a show Time magazine calls "revolutionary." Along with cohost Mika Brzezinski, Morning Joe features interviews with top newsmakers and in-depth analysis of the day's biggest stories. The New York Times has ranked Morning Joe as one of today's top morning news shows and has praised Joe and Mika's natural repartee and off-the-cuff commentary. The New Yorker has described the show as "appallingly entertaining."

Scarborough was named to the prestigious Time 100 list of the world's most influential people, and Vanity Fair named both Joe and Mika to its 2012 list of top power players.

In addition to his career in television, Scarborough is a two-time New York Times bestselling author. His first work, Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day, predicted the collapse of the Republican majority and U.S. economy due to his party's reckless spending. His second book, The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise, draws on the forgotten genius of conservatism to offer a road map for the movement and the country.

His new book, The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics--and Can Again, looks back in time to discern how Republicans once dominated American public life. From Eisenhower's refusal to let "the perfect be the enemy of the good" to Reagan's charismatic but resolutely practical genius, Scarborough shows how principled pragmatism, combined with a commitment to core conservative values, led to victory after victory.

Joe served as a member of Congress from 1995 to 2001. While in office, he was a member of the Judiciary, Armed Services, Oversight and National Security committees.

Customer Reviews

The last Republican I voted for was like that.
milford metallurgist
All in all, a good book that people who are willing to think independently should read.
Larry H. Winget
If you watch Morning Joe you know that Joe is a like-able but second rate mind.
Maine Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 76 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is no mistaking that Conservatism in the United States is in turmoil right now. A few years after there was a sense of triumph and the idea of a permanent Republican majority in Washington, there was a sort of Gotterdammerung, and the structure came crashing down with the loss of both houses of Congress and the Presidency, in addition to a number of state and local positions, to the Democrats.

However, the death of the Republican party specifically, and Conservatism generally, has been exaggerated, much in the way the demise of the Democratic party was also overstated in the early 2000s. Joe Scarborough, who as a Congressman during the Gingrich as the Contract for America progressed, made a name for himself by being a solid conservative, offers an interesting perspective of the rise and fall of the ideology and practice over the past few decades. It is interesting that during the divided government of Republican Congress and Democratic Presidency, we had budget surpluses. When the Republicans gained complete control, that was not sustained.

Scarborough contends that the Republican party stopped being conservative, and that that was their primary problem. They spent too much, became too adventurous, and too confident of their own abilities to act alone in the country and in the world. As Scarborough said, one can't double the national debt and claim to be the fiscally responsible party. The party needs to be a big tent party again, according to Scarborough, which means it need to have a place for both Cheney and Powell.

Everyone quotes Ronald Reagan, he states, and that ideology is a good conservative one, but the specifics of Reagan's policies won't necessarily work today.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Young on November 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Scarborough is anything but a conservative. I'm not sure what the title is suppose to suggest, but Scarborough is a host on a morning show watched by literally nobody. In fact if it weren't for Mark Levin mentioning the morning Schmoe, I would not even know he was still around. I will say this to his credit, he is less ignorant than Al "sharpie" Sharpton.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on June 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I like Joe Scarborough, and I'm generally relatively conservative. I also like the generally non-partisan way he began the book - admitting that our record deficits, socialist spending sprees, reckless foreign policy, and an economy racing towards bankruptcy were originated by Republican leaders, though now President Obama is making things much worse. Scarborough also criticizes Republicans for holding rabid, unyielding ideologies, and asserts that conservatives must understand they can never again take a laissez-faire attitude towards Wall Street, even though they're opposed to limitations on small businesses.

Such open-mindedness made me hopeful that this would be a thoughtful work. Instead, Scarborough drags readers through a ideological analysis of too many current topics, using just the unyielding ideological approach that he earlier decried. (Ideological tours of current events are for me, a pragmatist, a totally boring and useless approach.)

Bottom Line:: Scarborough's "The Last Best Hope" is just too blah to recommend, and not vitriolic enough to get upset about.
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28 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Chris Blakely on June 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Last Best Hope ... is a superficial kaleidoscope of cliches, pat thoughts, sweeping generalizations, and short, meaningless phrases that capture the mundane political sound bites all too common and overused these days. Much like one might shake a kaleidoscope and hold it up to the light to see new images, Mr. Scarborough has taken several years worth of the mindless chatter from Morning Joe, slapped it on some paper, and failed to provide any new perspective or vision, which is ironic considering the book's title.

Whether it's phrases like "Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss" or "Evolution Over Revolution" that pepper the book and provide the subheadings to the book's sections, Mr. Scarborough seemingly employees classic rock song titles and phrases reflective of the music used to decorate the segues on Morning Joe. Unfortunately, Mr. Scarborough fails to provide any serious analysis, reflection, or research -- after all, that would take real work and a serious effort. Rarely do the author's paragraphs exceed three sentences in length, and I cannot determine if this is symptomatic of Mr. Scarborough's lack of political insight, a nonexistent attention span, or both.

To summarize this collection of cliches with a cliche, much like his performance on Morning Joe, when Mr. Scarborough IS present, he has "mailed it in."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Anderson on July 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Scarborough started with an interesting premise for his book but it quickly lost energy and steam. I LOVE joe -- couldnt be a bigger admirer but i felt that this book was slapped together perhaps more quickly than it should have been -- not even an index or references/footnoes in the book which surprised me!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Maine Reader on June 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you watch Morning Joe you know that Joe is a like-able but second rate mind. If you are unfamiliar with political philosophy this is a good primer on conservatism. However, Joe's analysis is shallow and weak and his anecdotes are unconvincing if you give them any serious thought. It's an easy read however, and like I said, if you are prone toward conservatism you will enjoy it.
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