THE PARTY THAT LOST ITS HEAD by George F. & Chapman Bruce K. Gilder

THE PARTY THAT LOST ITS HEAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this fast-moving political whodunit, the ""party"" is the Republican, and the loss of ""head"" refers to the nomination of Senator Goldwater at San Francisco in 1964. The authors, former editors of the now defunct liberal Republican Journal Advance, bitterly run their analytical fingers through the contemporary ruins of the G.O.P. and answer their questions as to how it all happened and where to from now. They lampoon the right-winger who seized the party machinery after 1960 as fanatical manipulators who have nothing in common with traditional Republican values and who had hardly called themselves Republicans before that year. Arthur Larson's template for a modern Republicanism was forthwith kicked aside, and a new philosophy--party victory based on a Southern strategy even though the intellectuals and minority groups Were alienated-- acted upon. The authors then proceed to label the bottles in the Republican medicine cabinet. Eisenhower defaulted by not Using his immense prestige to renovate the party; V. P. candidate William Miller's most characteristic quality was laziness, etc.. Nixon and Rockefeller offer little hope as the paladins of a party comeback. What is needed is an end to the party's bar-room virility stance in foreign affairs by a return to partisanship in such matters as American intervention in other countries. On the domestic front, the Republicans should adhere to a city strategy, since the assimilation of ethnic minorities has eroded Democratic strength in metropolitan areas. The book is an effective indictment of the party's suicidal instincts and offers the kind of constructive criticism that can only do good for any hopeful prospects the Republicans may entertain.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1966
Publisher: Knopf