Ain't You Glad You Joined the Republicans?: A Short History of the GOP

John Calvin Batchelor, Author Henry Holt & Company $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3267-3
Whatever one's political persuasion, this breezy, hugely entertaining, opinionated chronicle of the Republican Party will nettle and provoke. Founded in 1854 by opponents of slavery, the party of Abraham Lincoln by 1897 had turned itself into a conservative arbiter that championed the liberty of the American marketplace, according to novelist Batchelor (Father's Day). Yet the Republicans, he maintains, have consistently claimed an obligation to the values of the American people, whether in support of liberty, sound money, trust-busting, anticommunism or family values. Among the Republican presidents he particularly admires are fearless, progressive Theodore Roosevelt, Nixon (whose Watergate-triggered ouster Batchelor blames mostly on vengeful Democrats' partisan politics) and Reagan, whose massive military buildup and aggressive foreign policy hastened the U.S.S.R.'s collapse, in Batchelor's estimate. Contemporaneous political cartoons and illustrations, memorabilia and campaign songs and verses are woven into the colorful narrative. 50,000 first printing. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
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