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To Make Men Free: A History of the…
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To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party

by Heather Cox Richardson

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I must say, I'm a bit surprised. I've had this book on my books to read for quite awhile and finally decided it was really a good time to pick it up and give it a shot. Unfortunately it was definitely not something that worked for me.

As the book purports to be, the author is looking at the Republican Party of the US. From its birth from prior to the Civil War and touching upon the election of Barack Obama as POTUS.According to the author the party struggles to balance for the right to equal opportunities, property ownership, plus issues like race/class/religious considerations, etc. You may agree, you may not, but that's the author's thesis.

I didn't have trouble with the content or her bias and normally this would very much be a book I'd like and read. But I found the book unbelievably boring and a struggle to get through. I'm confused because numerous reviews talk about how it's an "easy" read and I didn't get that sense at all. I don't mind history or really big books. But I just found the author's style exceptionally tedious and wonder if it's me or whether I'm not actually in the mood for this or what.

Certainly would be of interest to those who want to know more about the GOP. And as reviews warn, there's a definitely liberal/progressive bias. Personally I thought the writing was excruciating in terms of style but perhaps it's a book I should revisit in the future instead.
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
A fascinating history of the Republican Party from its founding in the early nineteenth century through the George W.Bush Administration. The author skips a lot of details at times, and is decidedly opinionated but that makes for lively discussion of the book and her thesis. ( )
  nmele | May 30, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465024319, Hardcover)

When Abraham Lincoln helped create the Republican Party on the eve of the Civil War, his goal was to promote economic opportunity for all Americans, not just the slaveholding Southern planters who steered national politics. Yet while visionary Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower shared Lincoln’s egalitarian dream, their attempts to use government to guard against the concentration of wealth have repeatedly been undone by the country’s moneyed interests and members of their own party. Ronald Reagan’s embrace of big business—and the ensuing financial crisis—is the latest example of this calamitous cycle, but it is by no means the first.

In To Make Men Free, celebrated historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the shifting ideology of the Grand Old Party from the antebellum era to the Great Recession, showing how Republicans’ ideological vacillations have had terrible repercussions for minorities, the middle class, and America at large. Expansive and authoritative, To Make Men Free explains how a relatively young party became America’s greatest political hope—and, time and time again, its greatest disappointment.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:22 -0400)

"In To Make Men Free, celebrated historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the shifting ideology of the Grand Old Party from the antebellum era to the Great Recession, showing how Republicans' ideological vacillations have had terrible repercussions for minorities, the middle class, and America at large."--from publisher's description.… (more)

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