SOCIAL SCIENCES

How the Right Lost Its Mind

St. Martin's. Oct. 2017. 288p. notes. index. ISBN 9781250147172. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250147219. POL SCI
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OrangeReviewStarWhat happened to the Republican Party? That's the knotty question Sykes (A Nation of Victims) cuts into in this, despite its inflammatory title, stark, honest, and unflinching look at the steps that moved the right to the fractious party it is today, argued from a voice within the camp. Sykes is not rejecting conservatism but providing a contrarian voice to the state of affairs as embodied by the support for and election of President Donald Trump through ideological bubbles and a vocal conservative media. Was the act emblematic of the modern conservative's ideals, or a fluke, out of line with the principles of Republicanism? Where does the "alt-right" end and conservatism begin? And, more seriously pressing than the identity crisis of a political party, what kind of world is being shaped by the politics of this evolution and blurred lines? Sykes concludes with advice to conservatives for how to recover their values and suggestions for how to exorcize the party from its problems. Exceedingly readable, Syke's voice comes across as clearly as if over the airwaves.
VERDICT Highly recommended. Sykes provides a valuable contribution to the arguments happening in the GOP about the party's future and priorities.

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