100 books like The Republican Reversal

By James Morton Turner, Andrew C. Isenberg,

Here are 100 books that The Republican Reversal fans have personally recommended if you like The Republican Reversal. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Encounters with the Archdruid

David Stradling and Richard Stradling Author Of Where the River Burned: Carl Stokes and the Struggle to Save Cleveland

From my list on the environmental movement in America.

Who are we?

We grew up, brothers, in Cleveland’s Ohio antipode – Cincinnati – and so we knew Cleveland mostly in contrast to our home. Despite the many differences, both cities experienced the urban crisis. Richard, a journalist, was drawn to the story of Cleveland’s frequently burning river. How did the Cuyahoga become a poster child for the environmental movement? And David, an environmental historian, was drawn to Carl Stokes, a Black man with the skills to become mayor of a predominantly white city in 1968. How did he propose to solve the many problems running through the urban environment? We both wanted to know what Cleveland’s changing relationship with its river could tell us about environmental politics. 

David's book list on the environmental movement in America

David Stradling and Richard Stradling Why did David love this book?

The “archdruid” in John McPhee’s 1971 narrative nonfiction book Encounters with the Archdruid is David Brower, the ardent, at times militant conservationist who spent the latter half of the 20th century fighting to protect wilderness and wild places from commercial exploitation. McPhee profiles Brower with characteristic depth and detail by bringing him together with three foes: a mineral engineer set on mining in the Glacier Peak Wilderness in the Cascade mountains of Washington; a real estate developer who hoped to build homes on what is now Cumberland Island National Seashore, and the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which, despite opposition from Brower and others, dammed the spectacular Glen Canyon on the Colorado River to create Lake Powell in northern Arizona and southern Utah.

McPhee arranges for Brower and the commissioner, Floyd Dominy, to take a rafting trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon and later a boat…

By John McPhee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Encounters with the Archdruid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide.


Book cover of To Save the Land and People: A History of Opposition to Surface Coal Mining in Appalachia

David Stradling and Richard Stradling Author Of Where the River Burned: Carl Stokes and the Struggle to Save Cleveland

From my list on the environmental movement in America.

Who are we?

We grew up, brothers, in Cleveland’s Ohio antipode – Cincinnati – and so we knew Cleveland mostly in contrast to our home. Despite the many differences, both cities experienced the urban crisis. Richard, a journalist, was drawn to the story of Cleveland’s frequently burning river. How did the Cuyahoga become a poster child for the environmental movement? And David, an environmental historian, was drawn to Carl Stokes, a Black man with the skills to become mayor of a predominantly white city in 1968. How did he propose to solve the many problems running through the urban environment? We both wanted to know what Cleveland’s changing relationship with its river could tell us about environmental politics. 

David's book list on the environmental movement in America

David Stradling and Richard Stradling Why did David love this book?

Chad Montrie has written a series of books exploring the unsung corners of environmentalism. Actually, that’s not fair. He’s explored the center of environmentalism – the activism of the poor, the working class, the average people who have fought to protect their families, their homes, their health. In To Save the Land and People, Montrie takes us into the hollows of Appalachia, where disempowered people did everything they could – even to the point of destroying bulldozers and threatening violence – to protect their communities. Montrie’s work reminds us of the struggles in Cleveland’s disempowered neighborhoods, where efforts to improve the environment often go unnoticed and lead to few successes. 

By Chad Montrie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Save the Land and People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Surface coal mining has had a dramatic impact on the Appalachian economy and ecology since World War II, exacerbating the region's chronic unemployment and destroying much of its natural environment. Here, Chad Montrie examines the twentieth-century movement to outlaw surface mining in Appalachia, tracing popular opposition to the industry from its inception through the growth of a militant movement that engaged in acts of civil disobedience and industrial sabotage. Both comprehensive and comparative, To Save the Land and People chronicles the story of surface mining opposition in the whole region, from Pennsylvania to Alabama. Though many accounts of environmental activism…


Book cover of Make It a Green Peace! The Rise of Countercultural Environmentalism

David Stradling and Richard Stradling Author Of Where the River Burned: Carl Stokes and the Struggle to Save Cleveland

From my list on the environmental movement in America.

Who are we?

We grew up, brothers, in Cleveland’s Ohio antipode – Cincinnati – and so we knew Cleveland mostly in contrast to our home. Despite the many differences, both cities experienced the urban crisis. Richard, a journalist, was drawn to the story of Cleveland’s frequently burning river. How did the Cuyahoga become a poster child for the environmental movement? And David, an environmental historian, was drawn to Carl Stokes, a Black man with the skills to become mayor of a predominantly white city in 1968. How did he propose to solve the many problems running through the urban environment? We both wanted to know what Cleveland’s changing relationship with its river could tell us about environmental politics. 

David's book list on the environmental movement in America

David Stradling and Richard Stradling Why did David love this book?

The history of politics can be dry stuff. But Frank Zelko is a natural storyteller – and a gifted historian. His subjects, Greenpeace and the men and women who formed it, provide access to the evolution of North American environmentalism from the 1960s through the 1980s. In vivid detail, Zelko narrates the drama at the heart of the Greenpeace strategy, the “mind bombs” that would activate citizens around the globe to stop whaling – at least mostly. Zelko makes us feel the urgency among these activists, their fear of nuclear testing, and their love of whales. Even among this relatively small group of activists, however, personality conflicts and philosophical differences reveal the difficulty of creating and maintaining a countercultural organization. For many of these folks, organization is not their thing. But action was. And throughout, Zelko’s fine-grained narrative reminds us that individual action is at the heart of all political…

By Frank Zelko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Make It a Green Peace! The Rise of Countercultural Environmentalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The emergence of Greenpeace in the late 1960s from a loose-knit group of anti-nuclear and anti-whaling activists fundamentally changed the nature of environmentalism-its purpose, philosophy, and tactics-around the world. And yet there has been no comprehensive objective history of Greenpeace's origins-until now.

Make It a Green Peace! draws upon meeting minutes, internal correspondence, manifestos, philosophical writings, and interviews with former members to offer the first full account of the origins of what has become the most recognizable environmental non-governmental organization in the world. Situating Greenpeace within the peace movement and counterculture of the 1960s, Frank Zelko provides a much deeper…


Book cover of The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City

David Stradling and Richard Stradling Author Of Where the River Burned: Carl Stokes and the Struggle to Save Cleveland

From my list on the environmental movement in America.

Who are we?

We grew up, brothers, in Cleveland’s Ohio antipode – Cincinnati – and so we knew Cleveland mostly in contrast to our home. Despite the many differences, both cities experienced the urban crisis. Richard, a journalist, was drawn to the story of Cleveland’s frequently burning river. How did the Cuyahoga become a poster child for the environmental movement? And David, an environmental historian, was drawn to Carl Stokes, a Black man with the skills to become mayor of a predominantly white city in 1968. How did he propose to solve the many problems running through the urban environment? We both wanted to know what Cleveland’s changing relationship with its river could tell us about environmental politics. 

David's book list on the environmental movement in America

David Stradling and Richard Stradling Why did David love this book?

The subtitle to Robert Sullivan’s The Meadowlands is Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City, and it’s Sullivan’s adventures exploring the vast New Jersey wetlands that make the book so entertaining. But Sullivan is right to use the word “wilderness” to describe the 32 square miles of swamp, landfills, and rusting industrial debris along the Hackensack River where it flows into Newark Bay just five miles from the Empire State Building in New York City. Like the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, the Meadowlands have been abused and degraded for centuries but also show the resilience of nature and how people’s attitudes toward it have changed. “Now it is a good place to see a black-crowned night heron or a pied-bill grebe or eighteen species of ladybugs,” Sullivan writes, “even if some of the waters these creatures fly over can oftentimes be the color of antifreeze.” Sullivan’s loving description…

By Robert Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Meadowlands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imagine a grungy north Jersey version of John McPhee's classic The Pine Barrens and you'll get some idea of the idiosyncratic, fact-filled, and highly original work that is Robert Sullivan's The Meadowlands.  Just five miles west of New York City, this vilified, half-developed, half-untamed, much dumped-on, and sometimes odiferous tract of swampland is home to rare birds and missing bodies, tranquil marshes and a major sports arena, burning garbage dumps and corporate headquarters, the remains of the original Penn Station--and maybe, just ,maybe, of the late Jimmy Hoffa.  Robert Sullivan proves himself to be this fragile yet amazingly resilient region's…


Book cover of What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

Robert Chernomas Author Of Neoliberal Lives: Work, Politics, Nature, and Health in the Contemporary United States

From my list on class warfare and that the wrong class is winning.

Who am I?

Neoliberalism and I have grown up in opposition to one another over the past four decades. As a professor of economics, union, and political activist I have observed, wrote about, and resisted its effects on the life chances of the great majority of its citizens with particular focus on the United States as its primary protagonist and gatekeeper. The opposition to this transformative epoch included writing about the significant contributions of my profession to Neoliberal economics in two previous books; The Profit Doctrine: The Economists of the Neoliberal Era and Economics in the 21st Century: A Critical Perspective.

Robert's book list on class warfare and that the wrong class is winning

Robert Chernomas Why did Robert love this book?

The fact that the capitalist class organizations, with their use of capital strike and flight, lobbying, funding right-wing “grassroots” organizations, think tanks, media, and Chicago school intellectuals, wanted to drive economic policy in a certain direction does not inevitably lead to the conclusion that they would have succeeded in achieving these goals. Neoliberal policies could not have been implemented in even a nominal democracy without at least a modicum of support from its victims. Remarkably, large sections of the American electorate vote for and support policies that favor the very business class that has profited from their economic decline. This is the first book to describe the abandonment of the Democratic Party by less-educated Whites which had a significant effect on the American shift to the right from the 1970s onward. My co-authors and I explore this shift in up-to-date detail in our book.

By Frank Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What's the Matter with Kansas? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reveals how conservatism became the preferred national political ideology, exploring the origins of this philosophy in the upper classes and tracing its recent popularity within the middle class.


Book cover of Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality

James Cronin Author Of Fragile Victory: The Making and Unmaking of Liberal Order

From my list on the crisis of liberal order and democracy.

Who am I?

Well before I trained as a scholar, I was an activist motivated by opposition to the Vietnam War and support for civil rights and social justice. Those commitments continued throughout my academic career and have now morphed into a resolve to write about recent threats to liberal order, democracy, and justice. The election results of 2016 – the triumph of “leave” in the Brexit vote and of Donald Trump in the Presidential election, forced me to rethink the history of things I have come to cherish – liberal order, democracy, and social and racial justice – how support for them has ebbed, and why they now require vigorous and informed defense.

James' book list on the crisis of liberal order and democracy

James Cronin Why did James love this book?

Hacker and Pierson argue that “plutocratic populism,” their term for what currently ails the United States and other democracies, is the latest solution to a structural dilemma in modern democracy.

Conservatives are regularly determined to protect wealth and privilege but need to win over voters who typically lack wealth and privilege to elect them. That means a continual effort to craft appeals that, in effect, disguise their aims.

The recent turn to populism means relying on non-economic issues – race, nativism, and various culture war issues concerning sex and gender most potently – to attract voters to support parties whose first allegiance is to the economic interests of elites.

This strategy can also lead, at times, to attacks on democracy and voting as well. 

By Jacob S. Hacker, Paul Pierson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Let Them Eat Tweets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Republican Party appears to be divided between a tax-cutting old guard and a white-nationalist vanguard-and with Donald Trump's ascendance, the upstarts seem to be winning. Yet how are we to explain that, under Trump, the plutocrats have gotten almost everything they want, including a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, regulation-killing executive actions, and a legion of business-friendly federal judges? Does the GOP represent "forgotten" Americans? Or does it represent the superrich?

In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters…


Book cover of Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right

Kyle Burke Author Of Revolutionaries for the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War

From my list on the history of American conservatism.

Who am I?

I’m a professor of modern US and global history at Hartwick College in upstate New York. I have been reading and researching the history of conservative and right-wing movements in the United States and the wider world for almost two decades. My first book, Revolutionaries for the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War, was published by University of North Carolina Press in 2018. My articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in Jacobin, Diplomatic History, Terrorism and Political Science, H-War, and H-Diplo. I’m currently at work on two projects: a history of the transatlantic white power movement and a film documentary about the short-lived white supremacist nation of Rhodesia and its contemporary legacies.

Kyle's book list on the history of American conservatism

Kyle Burke Why did Kyle love this book?

This is a field-defining work. First published in 2001, McGirr’s book prompted a generation of historians to reexamine the rise and evolution of modern American conservatism. Focused on the suburbs of Orange County, California, Suburban Warriors explored how grassroots conservative activists mobilized to reshape the politics of the nation. Through the stories of ordinary people--housewives and defense workers, evangelical worshippers, and anti-communist activists--we learn how the modern American right evolved from a fringe movement into arguably the most powerful political force in the United States.

By Lisa McGirr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Suburban Warriors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the early 1960s, American conservatives seemed to have fallen on hard times. McCarthyism was on the run, and movements on the political left were grabbing headlines. The media lampooned John Birchers's accusations that Dwight Eisenhower was a communist puppet. Mainstream America snickered at warnings by California Congressman James B. Utt that "barefooted Africans" were training in Georgia to help the United Nations take over the country. Yet, in Utt's home district of Orange County, thousands of middle-class suburbanites proceeded to organize a powerful conservative movement that would land Ronald Reagan in the White House and redefine the spectrum of…


Book cover of Talk Radio's America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States

Robert L. Fleegler Author Of Brutal Campaign: How the 1988 Election Set the Stage for Twenty-First-Century American Politics

From my list on explaining today’s polarized US politics.

Who am I?

I'm a history professor at the University of Mississippi and I've been a political junkie for a long time. I really began following politics during the 1988 presidential election and I vividly remember reading about the race in the newspaper every morning and then watching the evening news coverage each night. Thus, it seemed like the perfect topic for my second book. It was really fascinating to see the similarities and differences between my memories and the sources from the time.

Robert's book list on explaining today’s polarized US politics

Robert L. Fleegler Why did Robert love this book?

The 1988 election was the last contest in which the three broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) and the major mainstream newspapers like The New York Times dominated political coverage. 

Over the next three decades, a more diverse media environment emerged where cable channels, talk radio and other sources would play a central role. Rosenwald lays out the rise of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk radio hosts in the 1990s and how they helped shape the modern Republican Party and the more partisan and tribalized political climate of the early 21st century.

By Brian Rosenwald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Talk Radio's America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The cocreator of the Washington Post's "Made by History" blog reveals how the rise of conservative talk radio gave us a Republican Party incapable of governing and paved the way for Donald Trump.

America's long road to the Trump presidency began on August 1, 1988, when, desperate for content to save AM radio, top media executives stumbled on a new format that would turn the political world upside down. They little imagined that in the coming years their brainchild would polarize the country and make it nearly impossible to govern. Rush Limbaugh, an enormously talented former disc jockey-opinionated, brash, and…


Book cover of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Amy Rowland Author Of Inside the Wolf

From my list on understanding the American South.

Who am I?

I’m from North Carolina, and Inside the Wolf is the first book I’ve written about the American South. For a long time, I resisted writing about my home state. I moved to New York and tried to write elegant New York stories. But writing is thinking for me, and I had to think through some of the stories and memories and hauntings of my youth. The books on this list have made me want to keep doing it

Amy's book list on understanding the American South

Amy Rowland Why did Amy love this book?

The sociologist Arlie Hochschild visited Louisiana many times in the years she spent researching this book, about Tea Party Christians in the small town south.

Hochschild is determined to cross what she calls the “empathy wall,” and she listens closely to residents’ resentments, which she records in ways that allow her subjects to reveal themselves and their thinking. I’ve heard arguments against this book, and most of them are less nuanced than the ones Hochschild leaves me with.

What better than a book that takes disagreements seriously and leaves you with some of your own? A book of scope and scholarship and humanity of the sort I wish there were more of.


By Arlie Russell Hochschild,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Strangers in Their Own Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country - a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets, people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.


Book cover of Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal

Donald Cohen Author Of The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back

From my list on the battle between democracy and oligarchy.

Who am I?

I have been reading, researching, and writing on the limitations of market capitalism and the unique and important role of government in meeting public needs for almost 30 years. I have come to firmly believe that we can’t – as a nation and planet – solve our most pressing problems without rebuilding trust in government and the capacity and authority of governing institutions. We can’t eliminate poverty, eradicate structural racism, protect our environment and the planet without democratic institutions that have the power to do so. We need markets, but transferring too much power to the market has created many of the problems we face today. 

Donald's book list on the battle between democracy and oligarchy

Donald Cohen Why did Donald love this book?

This book had an enormous impact on my understanding about the long road economic conservatives and corporations took to establish the dominance of neoclassical and neoliberal economic approaches in the U.S.

It tells a detailed story about a small group of American businessmen who ultimately succeeded in building a political movement that transformed the country. It describes what they were heading for and the ways they went about it. 

By Kim Phillips-Fein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Invisible Hands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the wake of the profound economic crisis known as the Great Depression, a group of high-powered individuals joined forces to campaign against the New Deal-not just its practical policies but the foundations of its economic philosophy. The titans of the National Association of Manufacturers and the chemicals giant DuPont, together with little-known men like W. C. Mullendore, Leonard Read, and Jasper Crane, championed European thinkers Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises and their fears of the "nanny state." Through fervent activism, fundraising, and institution-building, these men sought to educate and organize their peers as a political force to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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