Richardson, a professor of history at Boston College, takes a look at the paradoxical evolution of the Republican Party in the US, and how it was founded on the principle of equal opportunity, and yet has been hijacked by elite agendas. This sounds like an interesting book. It’s due to be published by Basic Books in September 2014.
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 Woodrow Wilson 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 by members of their own party.
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 and details the terrible repercussions of these vacillations 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.