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The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics--and Can Again
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The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics--and Can Again

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  120 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Joe Scarborough—former Republican congressman and the always insightful host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe—takes a nuanced and surprising look at the unexpected rise and self-inflicted fall of the Republican Party. Dominant in national politics for forty years under the influence of the conservative but pragmatic leadership of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, the GOP, Scarbor ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Random House (first published January 1st 2013)
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Apr 06, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unsurprisingly, I walked away from this book without a clue as to how the Republicans can gain possession of power in this current political society. As a student of history, this book didn't tell me anything I didn't already know about 20th century presidential politics, and the last 5 pages of this book, his "plan," were worthless. Scarborough's last book wasn't this bad, but given this poor performance, if you will, I'll forgo purchasing anything he publishes in the future.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Unlike many books on the modern conservative movement, The Right Path starts not with Goldwater but Eisenhower. The point is obvious. Goldwater is not the gold standard. Rejecting the conventional wisdom in conservative circles that Goldwater’s ill-fated presidential campaign—as disastrous as it was at the time—planted the seeds of a conservative resurgence, Scarborough is more interested in the subsequent more conciliatory Goldwater. By starting with Eisenhower, Scarborough implicitly accepts a ...more
Brad Rock
Interesting time to read this book, given that Trump seems to have defied the logic of it and that Scarborough has recently said he's leaving the GOP. As someone who would welcome a more moderate brand of politics in America, this book gives me some hope that things will head that way, despite what technology has indirectly done to polarize us.
Kevin Mueller
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Joe Scarborough. He provides a concise and interesting overview of the political landscape of the nation since World War II. Starting his study of the conservative movement with Eisenhower differentiates this work from other books on politics. The point to make about Ike is that he was a moderate but a proud Republican to boot. He made deals with Democrats in Congress, and passed legislation allocating federal funds for the interstate highway system. Yet, he sti ...more
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Right Path", by Joe Scarborough, provides a brief review of the Presidents from Eisenhower through Obama, emphasizing the best aspects of the Republican presidents who led best.

The point he makes is that the GOP of the moment bears little resemblance of the Party of Reagan, and given that the Republican party failed to win the popular vote in five of the past six Presidential elections, that negative trend needs to be examined and reversed. Scarborough's states that he's tired of the Repub
P.e. lolo
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a political book and a history book as well. Maybe a little of both. He starts off by saying that the republican party has lost their way and peoples votes because of a lack of guidance and thinking that or by actions of a Republican President of not caring, not caring for the people of the country. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, there massive destruction. But for what seemed liked days there was no response by the federal government and he compared this to the watts riots in L. ...more
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is a book tailor-made for politics junkies. Mr. Scarborough basically outlines a history of the Republican party since World War II, and then concludes by recommending that the party use Colin Powell as its spokesman in order to regain the trust of the American people and thus regain power.

Since the target audience of the book is Republicans, the bottom-line theme is that we (Republicans) need to be the ones in power. We've done it before, and we can do it again. Despite some vague allusion
Dec 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest fell off at the end while the author navigated through the last twenty years. But I liked the beginning of the book and, although his bias is obviously toward the GOP winning elections, he's right when he talks about the problems with the GOP and the alienation they are causing. It's bizarre how the rabid voters sometimes prefer to nominate someone with no chance of winning over someone who may lean moderate on a couple of issues but win. Or they force a candidate to flip-flop over t ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never felt like I greatly disagreed with Scarborough on his overall premise in this book: the GOP has stepped too far to the right and is in danger of continuing its losing streak in national elections. I might say I would be fine with this, but not entirely. The moderate voices in our society are being drowned out by the noise machine that is the news media. Moderation doesn't draw viewers...but it can win elections. I hope leaders in both parties can learn from this book. I wouldn't call thi ...more
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I would give this book 3.5 stars if given the opportunity. It provides a perspective on forty years of Republican politics over the course of 150-some pages. The author's overarching thesis, so much as one exists, is that batshit crazy extremism does not win national elections which to be fair is about as much of a conclusion as one can draw without resorting to more extreme speculation. The book would appear to be written for someone who is looking for a elementary description of Republican his ...more
Fred Kohn
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Whatever else one may think of Joe Scarborough, he is one smart cookie. And the main thesis of this book is surely correct: "[P]arties win the White House by nominating candidates who win the most votes– not feeding endlessly on base resentments that offend crossover voters and shrink the GOP's voter rolls." However, in recounting history, especially from the Reagan Presidency through the Clinton Presidency, Scarborough, a hard right Republican, has trouble following his own advice. He can't see ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great book - it inspires to the next level of Conservative Politics - showing that the road to the Whitehouse is not "Scorched Earth" but a safe middle ground drawing the strength of a Conservative Base plus that of "Swing Voters" to a centrist conservative position. The Republic and the Republican Party need to find leaders that can lead and not just spout rhetoric if we are to survive the current crisis in America...
Howard Spinner
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very concise, thoughtful and practical guide for steering the Republican Party away from the Becks, Limbaughs, Coultors, Palins and Ted Cruz. Either the party wakes up and embraces the growing Latino population and the swing voters, or else it consigns itself to be a permanent House of Rep political force with no chance at the Presidency or at future constitutional legal decisions via Supreme Court appointments.
Phillip W.
Some interesting historical examples. The book, however, is big on recounting the success of historical winning GOP politicos, but short on analysis. If you enjoy politics, you will like the book, but it is not as helpful to analysis as one might have hoped. Long on exhortations, short on prescriptions. Two stars for the enjoyment factor.
Drew Taylor
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into how political parties lose touch with voters. While it focuses on the Republican Party its message applies equally to the Democrats, and it explains part of what just happened in the recent election.
Patrick Michael
Agree with some principals but a bit left of center for my tastes. The book though is a fairly quick and easy red. I enjoyed the book but don't know if I would go out of my way to read any of his other books.
Dave Tardella
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great reference for my campaign in the 2030s.
Mark Selby
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice survey of GOP candidates since Ike.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
The GOP could make a comeback sooner with some of the strategies listed by Mr. Scarborough, but it will fall on deaf ears.
Jim Blessing
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
This was an interesting book from the Republican viewpoint, with all of its pre-conceived bias.
Travis Phelps
rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2017
Rahsaan Peak
rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2014
Chris Csergei
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Apr 15, 2015
Jeff Keltner
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Aug 19, 2016
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Jun 18, 2014
Jeremy Smith
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Oct 22, 2016
Shaun Reardon
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Aug 04, 2014
Kris Underwood
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Nov 15, 2013
Ryan Colville
rated it liked it
Dec 02, 2013
Clint Huschka
rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2015
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Charles Joseph "Joe" Scarborough (born April 9, 1963) is an American cable news and talk radio host, lawyer, author, and former politician. He is currently the host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, and previously hosted Scarborough Country on the same channel. Scarborough served in the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001 as a Republican from the 1st district of Florida. He was named i ...more
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“A distinguished historian has said that one of the most valuable things about history is that it teaches us how things do not happen.” 1 likes
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