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Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream
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Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  145 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews

"Memo to John McCain: Please, please READ THIS BOOK. It can help you win the election and guide Republicans in shaping the political future.
Memo to Democrats: Don't read this book. It's going to be THE political book of 2008. Republicans will be better off if you choose to ignore it."
      --William Kristol, editor, The Weekly Standard

In a provocative challenge to Republic

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2008)
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Aaron Bruenger
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
My interest in this book was sparked by an interview with the authors on NPR's "Fresh Air". Douthat and Salam are trying to create a new direction for the GOP by re-focusing traditional conservative ideals in a direction that the party hasn't, other than through lip service. Their goal is to make the GOP more relevant to the needs of working-class Americans (which they define as non-college graduates) by creating policies that address W-C concerns: job instability, instability in the traditional ...more
Howard Olsen
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book promises a lot and fails to deliver. The authors' central insight is a good one: the GOP can renew itself and its electoral appeal by focusing its policy prescriptions on "Sam's Club Republicans," a group that is really what used to be known as Reagan Democrats, soccer moms, or just the good old fashioned working class. However, the actual policy suggestions put forth by the authors take up little more than 70 pages of this 230 page book. Almost half is given over to the authors' versi ...more
Eduardo Paez
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The most important book that Republicans need to read right now! Health security, a family-friendly tax code, wage subsidies to help the working class to climb out of poverty and an educational system that will allow Americans to rise out of poverty. These are just the start to positions that the Republican party needs to pivot to. From massive investments in Middle America as part of an ambitious economic development program for the region to the promotion of staff associations and new model un ...more
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
An intriguing artifact of a "simpler," pre-Trumpian time? Sure. But also a "what-might-have-been" primer on the modern history of American politics. A worthwhile read for its analysis of the American polity and some curios in its policy suggestions.

Of course, in the event, the book failed to move the political needle - it was President Obama, rather than 'President' McCain, after all - but it does somewhat accurately (if unintentionally) presage the source of the current populist moment. If the
Justin Tapp
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics, politics

The first half of the book is a history of American politics (including various critiques of previously written histories) from the New Deal to the Republican defeats in '06. They criticize conservatives who believe in a Reagan myth by showing he was no Goldwater small-government conservative, he believed in a powerful goverment that was helpful and not harmful. They explain why the middle class,"Sam's Club voters", keep swinging back and forth between parties in their voting patterns.

The author
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Grand New Party – Ross Douthat & Reihan Salam

Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam are popular authors working for The Atlantic, the fabled long-lived magazine. Their new project is a book that is a call to arms for the GOP. It seems that even though times are as tough for the party as they have ever been, there is still some hope. There exists a subset of Americans that are not truly aligned with either party. Once called the Silent Majority, Reagan Democrats, or the angry white males, they are a
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Its a pretty quick read and it makes some pretty strong arguments that deserve attention. Douthat and Salam give an excellent account of american political history since the 1960s and make a good case for a direction to take for the Republican Party.

Two ideas from the book that most interested me were:

1) Much of the problems facing the American working class are the result of the breakdown of working class families. I fully and wholeheartedly agree with this an
Sagar Jethani
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Douthat and Salam have put together the most serious attempt to date of diagnosing the party's woes and prescribing a plan for its restoration. Their critique of Republican politics frankly acknowledges its descent into anti-intellectualism and big spending, yet the strength of these admissions is diminished by weak attempts to justify them to the reader.

The project upon which Douthat and Salam have embarked upon is to describe "How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dre
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Douthat and Salam strive for a lofty goal in Grand New Party: to create a humane, secular, race- and gender-neutral conservative plan to preserve the middle class. And, for the most part, they achieve that goal - they show how strong families combine with what would be "liberal" labor protections to create the conservative ideal of an "ownership society" without government social services husbanding the individual from cradle to grave. Libertarians will not be on board; the New Deal is not Douth ...more
Mar 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
It is a good conversation starter. I don't agree with all of the solutions, especially the author's approach to Social Security and Medicare. But, the authors emphasize a new way forward on social issues. As with David Frum's "Comeback," the authors rightly note that Republicans and conservatives need to expand their social causes beyond just homosexuality and abortion: An emphasis on strengthening the family should begin to take precedence. It is a good book.; but, like I said, it is really jus ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I appreciate the work Douthat and Salam are trying to do in this book. Because it is a policy book and because it was published in 2008, some of the ideas are dated. Having said that, both men's ideas would take conservatism in a badly needed new direction. I would recommend the book because the history and data presented simply must be addressed if conservatism is going to remain a valuable force for the country's good.
May 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book does not sit well in my mental digestive system. What?

I honestly fought my way through tolerating this the past few weeks, so hard that when I had this book, I read or contemplated over it rather than write about what I thought.

It just doesn't compute.
Maybe I've just been playing the foreigner card for too long, and I just altogether do not understand this person.

Oh well, I think it's probably not worth worrying over any more.
Douthat and Salam are very good storytellers, and they have some genuinely creative ideas in this book, even if I disagree with them philosophically. I do think that they are a little too in-hoc to their own stereotypes of the liberal media and the harms of living in a city, but these tropes are common on the right, and I'm willing to cut them a little slack. Overall, this was an enjoyable book.
Justin Ton
A lot of debatable ideas within this novel. I liked as a mini-history for myself, even if its slanted to the thirtieth degree. A nice book for those willing to experiment with some other points of view.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Two young party-loyalists argue that Republicans could win the 2008 election by marketing themselves as populists without changing values. Well-thought theories but communicated awkwardly in the author's first book. I believe the strategies laid out would have decisively succeeded.
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Good history of American political two party system. Timely reading as 2016 primaries are happening. While written a few years back it is apparent the Republican Party still has not figured out that the working class is still disenfranchised. Donald Trump here you come.
Aug 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I like Douthat, but this book just seems like repackaging old ideas in new wrapping paper. In some ways, it's politically smart to use liberal language to defend conservative proposals, but you can't very well call it a new product. It's a somewhat disingenuous move.
Jan 30, 2009 rated it liked it
contains interesting political history from a conservative point of view and some very interesting policy ideas. the authors advocate a more pro-government form of conservatism that would probably appeal more to liberals than the standard fare.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting book that chronicles the conservative movement over the past 60 years or so and proposes action for the future. As far as political books go, I found this to be interesting, optimistic and very tolerable.
Aug 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-book-a-week
This book reads very quickly, but I'm not sure how much I got out of it b/c it's discussion of issues is pretty superficial. Nevertheless, the first half was a really interesting chronology of 20th century politics that I found helpful.
Brad East
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quick, easy, substantive read in reform conservatism, and most interesting in its telling of the political story after FDR and in its diagnosis of the working class's problems (that, is, as needing policy redress). Recommended for those interested in the authors, issues, or ideas in view.
Feb 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
An interesting perspective on how the Republicans can extend reach to the working class including healthcare, education, with specific emphasis on marriage and the family. Not all ideas are good ones, but at least they are new ideas, which is a welcome change.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
not bad but not enough to prevent the 2008 bloodbath.
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting but too brief to be of any real use to the Republican party. Needs to develop its ideas on Health Care, Education et. al.
Peter F
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating in light of the current election and how influential the working class situation has proven to be.
Jan 09, 2010 is currently reading it
Some compelling ideas in here by young, iconoclastic conservative thinkers that Democrats would try to coopt if they were smart.
Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream by Ross Douthat (2008)
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Apr 08, 2010
Avery James
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Aug 30, 2017
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Ross Gregory Douthat is a conservative American author, blogger and New York Times columnist. He was a senior editor at The Atlantic and is author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (Hyperion, 2005) and, with Reihan Salam, Grand New Party (Doubleday, 2008), which David Brooks called the "best single roadmap of where the Republican Party should and is likely to head." He is ...more

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