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The Republican War Against Women: An Insider's Report from Behind the Lines Paperback – January 5, 1998
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This is the story of one woman's struggle with and defection from the Republican party. It's the story of the transition and (in the author's view) subjugation of a political party to a small group of extremists. She shares the inside information from her more than 25 years of active membership. Melich contends that the "party of Lincoln," the party that promoted choice and freedom for all, is gone.
From Library Journal
Melich, who has spent most of her political life as a Republican feminist, recounts 23 years of party politics that, she postulates, has fought against the women's movement and issues important to equal opportunity. She takes us through her struggles as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1968 and 1992, describing in painstaking detail every platform, rule, and committee meeting that resulted in documents rejecting the Equal Rights Amendment and calling for a constitutional ban on abortions. Clearly, from what Melich outlines, the Republican party was completely out of sync with her views, leaving one to ask why it took so long for her to leave the party (as she finally did in 1992). Her reasoning after each defeat was that she thought it would get better and that it was better that the GOP feminists work with, rather than against, the party to see if some ground could be gained. Although the book's alarmist title may turn some potential readers off, the text is not hyperbole but a step-by-step account of how the religious right and conservatives have taken control of the Republican party. Recommended for general and academic political science collection.
--Patricia Hatch, Emmanuel Coll. Lib., Boston
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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The Republican War on Women by Tanya Melich. Even despite the fact this book is outdated and is from 1996. It still holds true for this year of 2012. The Republican Party has only gotten more anti women than they were in the early 80's and nastier. The war on reproductive rights hasn't ended, or even slowed down any in its intensity. In some ways, it has just gotten worse. I do not see it ending anytime in the near future either. It just grows more volatile and filled with ignorance with each passing year.
So this is an in-depth study of the Reagan Revolution of the 70's/80's and the merging of politics and religion in the Republican Party as seen and lived by a feminist activist of the day. I am sorry to say now, I didn't pay much attention to what the candidates were saying in those days. But, I learned the hard way to pay attention and listen. I didn't take what they had to say seriously. When I discovered what they stood for, I was sorry I had ever bothered giving my vote to Reagan. All of the lofty ideal's he spouted didn't mean a whole lot it was just empty rhetoric. What they practiced was a whole different story than what they preached. It didn't take a whole lot to switch parties, but I can understand why it took Melich so long. A person doesn't like giving up on something they have known their whole life. It often proves difficult.
The book reminds to many of we former Republican's what happened to the party we used to respect and vote for. And probably would again, if they lost the reproductive issues, social issues, religion, lunacy and failed policies that guide their party. So, I imagine it was very painful for Ms Melich to write it considering she was so close to the inner sanctums of the party. It was part of her identity at the time. I was never that committed to the Republican Party. So it really cause me much pain to dump them after the 84 election when the deficit started going into the stratosphere and it became clear they were controlled by organized religion. I really do not see it as any religious leaders business if my single Granddaughters take birth control or get an abortion.
She also doesn't sound much like a feminist either, which was another concern of mine when buying the book. I am not a feminist and have been a housewife for the last 53 years of my life. But, I am very concerned about women's issues. I wasn't sure I could relate to her or the book. But, I had no problems. In a lot of ways it is a depressing book to read, due to the treachery of the right wing ideologues. At the same time it is an extremely good book and easy to read. She tells of the noble party of Lincoln's descent into madness over a number of years, into chaos and finally complete ignorance on so many issues not only women's issues.
I found the book to be very informative as to the inner workings of that era and the backroom wheeling and dealing. And well worth the time to read. I learned a lot I didn't know at the time. In essence it's a history of the religious right's takeover of the Republican Party and the betrayal of the American ideals. So I will give it 5 stars because it was such an informative book. I didn't find anything wrong with it.
It's not difficult for those who are old enough to remember how Bush the 1st betrayed women, not only of his own party, but of America in his refusal to support women's rights, especially reproductive rights, once he took office. His complete subservience to the religious right became complete and his lost bid for re-election well-deserved.
What even Melich can't explain, however, in spite of her lifelong commitment to the Republicans, is why some women will fight against women's rights with the same vigour as the men of the party. I suppose it can be explained when one considers how abused women will often excuse their spouse's brutality, or support the very religion that would condemn them to eternal servitude. There is also the opportunity to achieve great power, but that could be taken away from them in a moment if the men with the real power decided to move the women out.
Today's misogyny originated long before the current rash of attacks on freedoms as Melich shows. Her book documents its rise in the Republican Party, pushed to prominence by the religious right who she says would turn our democracy into a theocracy, with their re-writing history and concentration on groups they would rather not see having power of any sort. Melich has sounded a warning that could help women arm themselves against further erosion of not only women's rights, but also the rights of too many other groups the religious right doesn't approve of.