In this endearing, illuminating work, presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove tracks the two Bush presidents from their formative years through their post-presidencies and the failed presidential candidacy of Jeb Bush, derailing the Bush presidential dynasty.
Drawing extensively on exclusive access and interviews with both Bush presidents, Updegrove reveals for the first time their influences and perspectives on each other’s presidencies; their views on family, public service, and America’s role in the world; and their unvarnished thoughts on Donald Trump, and the radical transformation of the Republican Party he now leads.
In 2016 George W. Bush lamented privately that he might be “the last Republican president.” Donald Trump’s election marked the end not only to the Bushes’ hold on the White House, but of a rejection of the Republican principles of civility and international engagement and leadership that the Bushes have long championed.
The Last Republicans offers revealing and often moving portraits of the forty-first and forty-third presidents, as well as an elegy for the Republican “establishment,” which once stood for putting the interests of the nation over those of any single man.
Who won? How? Why? Now nearly a half-century later, Stephen Hess, who was Nixon's biographer and Moynihan's deputy, recounts this fascinating story as if from his office in the West Wing.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927–2003) described in the Almanac of American Politics as "the nation's best thinker among politicians since Lincoln and its best politician among thinkers since Jefferson", served in the administrations of four presidents, was ambassador to India, and U.S. representative to the United Nations, and was four times elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.
Praise for the works of Stephen Hess
Organzing the Presidency
Any president would benefit from reading Mr. Hess's analysis and any reader will enjoy the elegance with which it is written and the author's wide knowledge and good sense. -The Economist
The Presidential Campaign
Hess brings not only first-rate credentials, but a cool, dispassionate perspective, an incisive analytical approach, and a willingness to stick his neck out in making judgments. -American Political Science Review
From the Newswork Series
It is not much in vogue to speak of things like the public trust, but thankfully Stephen Hess is old fashioned. He reminds us in this valuable and provocative book that journalism is a public trust, providing the basic information on which citizens in a democracy vote, or tune out. — Ken Auletta, The New Yorker