Geoffrey Kabaservice, Roosevelt House Visiting Fellow and author of the recent book, “Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party.”  Kabaservice was joined by moderator Ed Rollins, Jr., Senior Advisor, Teneo Strategy; Senior Presidential Fellow, Hofstra University, Center for the Study of the American Presidency; and Senior Political Analyst, Fox News.

About the Book

In Rule and Ruin, Kabaservice reveals that the moderate Republicans’ downfall began not with the rise of the Tea Party but about the time of President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address. Even in the 1960s, when left-wing radicalism and right-wing backlash commanded headlines, Republican moderates and progressives formed a powerful movement, supporting pro-civil rights politicians like Nelson Rockefeller and William Scranton, battling big-government liberals and conservative extremists alike. But the Republican civil war ended with the overthrow of the moderate ideas, heroes, and causes that had comprised the core of the GOP since its formation. In hindsight, it is today’s conservatives who are “Republicans in Name Only.” In this insightful and elegantly argued book, Kabaservice contends that the decline of moderates has left Republicans less capable of governing responsibly, with dire consequences for all Americans.

“In Rule and Ruin, his wonderfully detailed new history of moderate Republicanism, Geoffrey Kabaservice makes a strong case that moderate Republicanism was hardier than we remember.” – Timothy Noah, The New York Times Book Review

“Kabaservice is a wonderfully straightforward historian who does not layer on a lot of interpretive gloss…Rule and Ruin is a wonderful reminder of what was once — not very long ago — a vital tradition in American politics.” – The New Republic

“The radical turn of the Republican Party into a voice of right-wing extremism is one of the major themes of modern American political history. Rule and Ruin tells the whole story in stunning detail, and in prose that is as balanced as it is lucid. No study of our recent politics could possibly be more timely on the eve of the 2012 elections.” – Sean Wilentz, Princeton University, author of The Age of Reagan

“Meticulously researched and compellingly written, Rule and Ruin is more than an account of the demise of moderate Republicans; it is a penetrating history of the modern Republican Party over the past half century. This is an exceptional book, and must reading for anyone who will follow with interest (or dread) the Republican race to a presidential nomination in 2012.” – Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute

“In this timely work, Geoffrey Kabaservice successfully combines thorough historical research and a gripping narrative. The result is a comprehensive account of an ideological and political contest which, played out over half a century, has had a profound influence on the Republican Party and modern American politics.” – Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution

Find the book online: Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party By Geoffrey Kabaservice 504 pages. Oxford University Press. $29.95.



About the author

Geoffrey Kabaservice is the author of the National Book Award-nominated The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, His Circle, and the Rise of the Liberal Establishment. He has written for numerous national publications and has been an assistant professor of history at Yale University. He lives outside Washington, DC.

About the moderator

The Honorable Edward Rollins is a Senior Advisor with Teneo Strategy, Senior Presidential Fellow at Hofstra University’s Center for the Study of the American Presidency, and a Senior Political Analyst for Fox News.  Mr. Rollins has served in the administrations and advised four United States Presidents. He was the Assistant to the President in charge of the White House Office of Political Affairs and the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and deputy chief of staff during the Reagan administration.

In 1984, he managed President Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign, winning 49 of 50 states. He was the first non-member of Congress to serve as the Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Chief Political Advisor to the House Republican Leadership. He also served as the Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee for four years.

In addition to managing President Reagan’s campaign, Mr. Rollins has had major roles in 9 other Presidential campaigns. Prior to his Washington service, Mr. Rollins was the Republican Chief of Staff and Assistant to the Speaker of the California Assembly He was inducted into the Political Consultants Hall of Fame in 2011.  In the corporate world, Mr. Rollins is an internationally renowned public and corporate relations strategist and well-known political commentator.  In the international arena, Mr. Rollins has had extensive experience in China, Japan, Korea, Pakistan and the Philippines where he has advised heads of state and executives of major corporations.

He has appeared regularly on television for over 30 years on shows such as Meet the Press, This Week, Face the Nation, Nightline, The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, Hardball, Crossfire, Larry King Live, CNN News Makers, and many other talk shows. His memoir, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, was the number-one selling political book in America in 1996 and made the top of the New York Times best-seller list and every other best seller list.

He is a graduate of California State University, Chico where he was a Varsity athlete, student body president and a nationally top ranked amateur boxer compiling a record of 164 wins and 2 losses. He earned his BA in Political science and Physical Education and was the Varsity boxing coach of the team that won the National College Boxing Championship. He did graduate work at Washington University in Saint Louis where he was the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and taught Political Science.

In recognition of his professional accomplishments and political acumen, the Board of Trustees of the California State University conferred in 2012 an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Mr. Rollins was also the recipient in 2010 of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Geoffrey Kabaservice, Visiting Research Scholar and Author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party | Posted on July 24th, 2012 | Book Discussions, Public Programs, Road to November