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Rule and Ruin
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As the 2012 elections approach, the Republican Party is rocketing rightward away from the center of public opinion. Republicans in Congress threaten to shut down the government and force a U.S. debt default. Tea Party activists mount primary challenges against Republican officeholders who appear to exhibit too much pragmatism or independence. Moderation and compromise are dirty words in the Republican presidential debates. The GOP, it seems, has suddenly become a party of ideological purity. Except this development is not new at all. In Rule and Ruin, Geoffrey Kabaservice reveals that the moderate Republicans' downfall began not with the rise of the Tea Party but about the time of President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address. Even in the 1960s, when left-wing radicalism and right-wing backlash commanded headlines, Republican moderates and progressives formed a powerful movement, supporting pro-civil rights politicians like Nelson Rockefeller and William Scranton, battling big-government liberals and conservative extremists alike. But the Republican civil war ended with the overthrow of the moderate ideas, heroes, and causes that had comprised the core of the GOP since its formation. In hindsight, it is today's conservatives who are "Republicans in Name Only." Writing with passionate sympathy for a bygone tradition of moderation, Kabaservice recaptures a time when fiscal restraint was matched with social engagement; when a cohort of leading Republicans opposed the Vietnam war; when George Romney-father of Mitt Romney-conducted a nationwide tour of American poverty, from Appalachia to Watts, calling on society to "listen to the voices from the ghetto." Rule and Ruin is an epic, deeply researched history that reorients our understanding of our political past and present. Today, moderates are marginalized in the GOP and progressives are all but nonexistent. In this insightful and elegantly argued book, Kabaservice contends that their decline has left Republicans less capable of governing responsibly, with dire consequences for all Americans.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction ; Chapter 1: The Collapse of the Moderate Republican Establishment, 1960-64 ; Chapter 2: "Moderation Is No Virtue": The GOP and the Goldwater Campaign, 1964 ; Chapter 3: Wresting in the Ruins: Moderates Regain Control of the Republican Party, 1965 ; Chapter 4: From Rat Finks to Reagan: Republican Resurgence, 1966 ; Chapter 5: Moderation's High Tide: George Romney's Rise and Fall, 1967 ; Chapter 6: Moderate Half-Victories and the Presidential Election of 1968 ; Chapter 7: Moderates Get a Piece of the Action: Nixon's First Year, 1969 ; Chapter 8: Clashing with Nixon: The Breakup of the Moderate Republican Movement, 1970 ; Chapter 9: Slouching Towards Bethlehem: The Decline and Fall of the Moderate Republicans, 1971-2011 ; Conclusion

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.

Reviews

"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 "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

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