In 1981, a Right Wing Republican at long last resided in the White House, presiding over what may prove to be the most fundamental restructuring of American political life since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fortunately, The Republican Right since 1945 now provides us with the necessary historical understanding of conservative Republicans. David Reinhard's dispassionate yet lively book recounts the Republican Right's political struggles from the death of FDR in 1945 to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan.
Younger readers will discover that Right Wing Republicans are older than Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater and that some conservative Republicans once feared the overextension of American power abroad and the rise of the "garrison state" at home. Those old enough to remember when the Republican Right was called the "Old Guard" will rediscover the events and personalities of those earlier years, thanks to Reinhard's use of more than thirty five manuscript collections and the most recent historical writing.
Not content to let this history end where traditional manuscript sources run thin, Reinhard has brought the story of the Republican Right Wing forward to President Ronald Reagan's inauguration, placing Right Wing Republican reaction to the Johnson and the Nixon-Ford years within the context of the earlier period and chronicling the electoral triumph of Ronald Reagan and the Republican Right. Students of the past and observers of the present will appreciate Reinhard's treatment of the always-troubled Nixon-Republican Right association; challenger Ronald Reagan's battle against President Gerald Ford in 1976; the decline of GOP moderation; and the rise of the New Right-Moral Majority forces and their relationship to the now ascendant Republican Right.
Reinhard illuminates the conservative Republican past and thereby makes the current political scene more understandable. Thoroughly researched and brilliantly written, The Republican Right since 1945 will fascinate scholars and general readers alike.