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The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics--and Can Again [Kindle Edition]

Joe Scarborough
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.00
Kindle Price: $11.84
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Joe Scarborough—former Republican congressman and the always insightful host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe—takes a nuanced and surprising look at the unexpected rise and self-inflicted fall of the Republican Party. Dominant in national politics for forty years under the influence of the conservative but pragmatic leadership of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, the GOP, Scarborough argues, is in a self-inflicted eclipse. The only way forward? Recover the principled realism of the giants who led the party to greatness.
 
In the aftermath of Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide, the Republican Party appeared to be on the verge of permanent irrelevance. LBJ’s Great Society was institutionalizing sweeping liberal reforms, and the United States had a thriving, prosperous economy. Yet in an instant everything changed, and the next four decades would witness an unprecedented era of Republican ascendancy. What happened?
 
In The Right Path, Joe Scarborough 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.
 
Now, however, political incalcitrance is threatening to turn a once-mighty party into a permanent minority.  
 
Opening with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965—the high-water moment for liberalism—and ending with the national disillusionment that set in after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, The Right Path effortlessly blends American political history with astute analysis and pithy, no-holds-barred commentary. Both a bracing call to arms and a commonsense history, The Right Path provides an illuminating look at conservatism and its discontents—and why the GOP must regain its former tone and tradition if it hopes to survive.
 
Praise for The Right Path
 
“This concise history of modern Republican politics might just leave you optimistic about the chances that conservatives can govern again. . . . In the world of commentary, we tend to obsess over the quotidian ebbs and flows—assuming that every little bump in the road is a disaster. . . . But there’s something about reading the history that allows one to take a longer view and put things in context. And that’s precisely what this book does very well.”The Daily Caller

The Right Path is the right book at the right time to spark a much-needed conversation about the future of the Republican Party.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin
 
“If you’re interested in the Republican future, you need to read The Right Path. I don’t agree with all of it, but Joe Scarborough has written a book that’s both thought-provoking and fun.”—William Kristol

“Joe Scarborough’s lively, provocative, and instructive history of the modern Republican Party will stir up the GOP—which is exactly what he has in mind. As the Grand Old Party searches for a path to victory, Joe offers some important lessons to be learned.”—Tom Brokaw
 
“Joe Scarborough’s incisive, original, provocative, and well-argued book, deploying American political history both distant and recent, deserves to be widely read, carefully considered, and energetically debated.”—Michael Beschloss


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“This concise history of modern Republican politics might just leave you optimistic about the chances that conservatives can govern again. . . . In the world of commentary, we tend to obsess over the quotidian ebbs and flows—assuming that every little bump in the road is a disaster. . . . But there’s something about reading the history that allows one to take a longer view and put things in context. And that’s precisely what this book does very well.”The Daily Caller

The Right Path is the right book at the right time to spark a much-needed conversation about the future of the Republican Party.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin
 
“If you’re interested in the Republican future, you need to read The Right Path. I don’t agree with all of it, but Joe Scarborough has written a book that’s both thought-provoking and fun.”—William Kristol

“Joe Scarborough’s lively, provocative, and instructive history of the modern Republican Party will stir up the GOP—which is exactly what he has in mind. As the Grand Old Party searches for a path to victory, Joe offers some important lessons to be learned.”—Tom Brokaw
 
“Joe Scarborough’s incisive, original, provocative, and well-argued book, deploying American political history both distant and recent, deserves to be widely read, carefully considered, and energetically debated.”—Michael Beschloss
 
“Blending political and cultural history with sharp analysis, Joe Scarborough’s The Right Path is highly readable, timely, and, most important, provocative. This book comes at a crucial time for the Republican Party.”—Craig Shirley

“Joe Scarborough, a good Republican, wants to save the Republicans from themselves. In this provocative, lively, and wise book, he shows the way.”—Evan Thomas

About the Author

Joe Scarborough is one of the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and was, from 1995 to 2001, a member of the House of Representatives. His previous book, The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise, was a New York Times bestseller. He was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1474 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812996143
  • Publisher: Random House (November 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DXKJOVA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,883 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Decent HIstory; Unclear Future December 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, an immense gap had opened between the rich and the poor; daily existence had become more difficult for ordinary people, and the middle class felt increasingly squeezed.” The Bully Pulpit” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Today, in the wake of the technological and informational revolutions, an immense gap has opened between the rich and the poor; daily existence has become more difficult for ordinary people, and the middle class feels increasingly squeezed.
Three-time back bench congressman from Florida and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has written “The Right Path” that purports to show the way for Scarborough’s Republican Party to regain the White House to follow its conservative agenda.
This agenda calls for a restrained state, greater liberty, social order and strength abroad.
“These key conservative principles most Americans agree with,” Joe Scarborough says without fleshing them out. Campaigning is easy; its governing that’s hard, Joe.
Obviously seeking the second spot on his party’s 2016 Presidential ticket, Scarborough says that the GOP must be committed to limited government, social order and strength abroad. That is it. No more. But, what exactly does that mean today. He does not put meat on the bones of campaign rhetoric.
Fight for core principles of conservatism. Emphasize values most Americans agree with. Okay, spell it out Joe. What are the core principles of conservatism? What values would you emphasize? Why no specifics?
I bought the book with limited expectations for revelation and I was not disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not enough substance February 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is almost 200 pages long & the only strategy for improvement of the Republican Party occurs in the last 30 pages. All the rest is a history of presidential politics from FDR to the present. This is not why I bought the book. Very disappointed
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Path? What Path? November 12, 2013
By H. P.
Format:Kindle Edition
Unlike many books on the modern conservative movement, The Right Path starts not with Goldwater but Eisenhower. The point is obvious. Goldwater is not the gold standard. Rejecting the conventional wisdom in conservative circles that Goldwater’s ill-fated presidential campaign—as disastrous as it was at the time—planted the seeds of a conservative resurgence, Scarborough is more interested in the subsequent more conciliatory Goldwater. By starting with Eisenhower, Scarborough implicitly accepts as a baseline the New Deal and implicitly rejects Calvin Coolidgism (with an explicit dig or two, but notice it’s Coolidge not Harding or Hoover worthy of serving as foil). Scarborough sees the GOP’s strength as “principled realism, not ideological purity. We Republicans have been at our best when we are true to one of the deepest insights of conservatism: that politics, like mankind itself, isn’t perfectible in a fallen universe.” Moderate Republicans and deal-cutting are the heroes, not the villains.

Scarborough has Obamacare’s greatest enemy on his side: math. Although the American people broadly accept what Scarborough (correctly) labels as four key conservative principles—“greater liberty, a relatively restrained state, social order, and strength abroad”—they are not by any means what the rock-ribbed conservative grassroots activist considers true conservatives. The idea that the Republicans only failure is a failure to nominate a sufficiently died-in-the-wool conservative has always been a silly one. But the opposite is also true. Both parties face the same basic problem: nominating a candidate and platform that can spur the base to vote and volunteer while still swaying the center to their side.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time January 27, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very boring book. Thought I'd give it a try since I enjoy "Morning Joe". Was disappointed in the content...WAY too much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fall short of expectation January 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Joe Scarborough. I think people like him are the conscience of GOPs. I've purchased this book with high expectation of a self critique of past and present, broad vision to a future path book.

Instead, it was a recital of the glory past. He argue why GOP should follow the model of the prime glory past. I gave up reading it finally after 60% percent of the book. Learning from history is important but this is why the GOP has failed and still heading to a bigger failure. This is a party of the past and so does the voter base.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not thorough but point made January 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
th books thesis i good, unfortunately it is rushed. However the point is made though the book is a bit repititious. I would love to see a book with this thesis and have fully fleshed out both in historical account and in philosophical thought.
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22 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Writing was ok subject matter rehashed November 13, 2013
Format:Audible Audio Edition
I read the first 4 chapters, and realized what he has written has already been said nothing new. It seem to be written ok. However, the right way almost seemed like duh really. He does try and come off like he is the smartest guy in the room. I got a refund.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Out of touch with non-ideologues February 4, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I expected this book to make the case for reorienting the Republican platform back to the policies of Eisenhower. Instead, the author gives weak coverage of Ike's fiscal genius (surpluses in 3 of 8 years) and portrays "trickle-down" economic policy as successful when it has never once produced a balanced budget. This myopia or outright denial of fiscal reality is one of the primary objections to voting Republican. In fact, fiscal success or failure is not even a significant topic in the book except to provide us with recaps of the Reagan rhetoric criticizing Carter's deficits - tiny by comparison to R. R.'s.
Eisenhower's towering success (24% reduction in Debt/GDP) is not explored nor is Reagan's failure (64% increase in Debt/GDP). Clinton's balanced budgets are attributed to Gingrich while no mention is made of the tax increase which preceded the years of surplus - an increase that passed with not one single Republican vote in support. The effects of the Bush tax cuts are also not quantified - cuts made during a war, no less. As long as Republican's deny the role of adequate taxation as necessary evil underpinning our balanced budgets we will continue to see more Mitt Romney platforms calling for 20% across the board tax cuts and repeats of the Reagan, Bush, Bush Obama deficits. The author should have used the book to show how fealty to Eisenhower not Reagan could be the key to universal, rather than niche, popularity for the GOP. Ike's 8 year average approval rating is still the highest ever recorded - 65% vs. Reagan's 53%.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good history lesson
Good history of the Presidency . Well written . But no recommendation for better strategies for the US .
Published 1 month ago by M. Schiro
4.0 out of 5 stars this was a great
I'm a big Morning Joe fan and a centrist, this was a great read
Published 3 months ago by connor craig
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting read but a bit repetitive
I am a political conservative but regular Morning Joe watcher, because I enjoy the interaction of various political perspectives --even if the table does usually lean slightly to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Michael Duduit
2.0 out of 5 stars Bought it for my Republican brother
He did not appreciate it. Did not like the author. Has not read it. He did like the cover photo.
Published 7 months ago by Dicksie Tamanaha
5.0 out of 5 stars great Read
Scarborough gives a great distort action on the successes of the GOP as a unifying party that reaches across the aisle and cuts into opposition coalitions. That's how we win again
Published 7 months ago by Rayzgop
5.0 out of 5 stars Principled but Pragmatic Presidents
This book points out the ups and downs of the conservative movement.
Eisenhower and Reagan stand out. The were conservatives who had the right temperament to get elected. Read more
Published 8 months ago by John W. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars A Line Of Truth
Joe Scarborough has walked the walk and talked the talk. Ike was a national hero. By the time he was elected President of the United States, he was the general who saved the free... Read more
Published 8 months ago by richard e whitelock
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight for GOP 2016
This is an opportunity to learn from recent political history to prepare for the future of the
conservative movement in decades ahead.
Published 8 months ago by George Huffman
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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.

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