This study parallels the format and content of Hess and Broder's The Republican Establishment (1967). It is vague and sketchy by comparison in its picture of party wheels, factions and strategies. Thimmesch does offer a quick history of the GOP's past and a general thesis: that the Democratic coalition is disintegrating, the era of programmatic liberalism and Republican opposition is fading, and GOP individualism has new appeal for the growing ranks of independent voters. The biographies of Rockefeller, Romney, Reagan, Percy, Nixon and Lindsay are more personal (Reagan's alcoholic father, Rockefeller's fight with Diego Rivera) and more opinionated (""If there is an authentic, responsible conservative in American politics, it is Nixon""). The Hess & Broder book is longer, more serious and detached, and much more informative on topics other than the candidates. However, Thimmisch's anecdotes and his concern with background issues like the change in urban electorates make this a serviceable complement.