History of the Republican Party (United States)/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about History of the Republican Party (United States).
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Secondary Sources


  • American National Biography (20 volumes, 1999) covers all politicians no longer alive; online and paper copies at many academic libraries. Older Dictionary of American Biography.
  • Batchelor, John Calvin. "Ain't You Glad You Joined the Republicans?" A Short History of the GOP. 1996. 399 pp. well-written popular history, well illustrated
  • Dinkin, Robert J. Campaigning in America: A History of Election Practices. (Greenwood 1989)
  • Gould, Lewis. Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans (2003), the best overview.
  • Jensen, Richard. Grass Roots Politics: Parties, Issues, and Voters, 1854-1983 (1983) online edition
  • Keller, Morton. America's Three Regimes: A New Political History (2007) 384pp.
  • Kleppner, Paul, et al. The Evolution of American Electoral Systems (1983), applies party systems model
  • Mayer, George H. The Republican Party, 1854-1966. 2nd ed. (1967), narrative.
  • Remini, Robert V. The House (2006), scholarly history of the U.S. House
  • Rutland, Robert Allen. The Republicans: From Lincoln to Bush (1996) popular narrative
  • Sabato, Larry J., and Howard R. Ernst eds. Political Parties and Elections (2007), 540pp; an encyclopedia with 450 entries by scholars; strongest post 1945
  • Shafer, Byron E. and Anthony J. Badger, eds. Contesting Democracy: Substance and Structure in American Political History, 1775-2000 (2001), long essays by specialists on each time period
  • Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, Jr. ed. History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2000 (various multivolume editions, latest is 2001). For each election includes good scholarly history and selection of primary document. Essays on the most important election are reprinted in Schlesinger, The Coming to Power: Critical presidential elections in American history (1972)

1854 to 1900

  • Donald, David. Lincoln (1999), standard scholarly biography
  • Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (1970), influential history of ideas and ideology online edition
  • Hesseltine, William B. Ulysses S. Grant: Politician (1935) online edition
  • Jensen, Richard. The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888-1896 (1971)
  • Keller, Morton. Affairs of State: Public Life in Late Nineteenth Century America 1977.
  • Kleppner, Paul. The Third Electoral System 1853-1892: Parties, Voters, and Political Cultures (1979), analysis of voting behavior, with emphasis on region, ethnicity, religion and class. online edition
  • Marcus, Robert. Grand Old Party: Political Structure in the Gilded Age, 1880-1896 1971.
  • Morgan, H. Wayne. From Hayes to McKinley; National Party Politics, 1877-1896 (1969) online edition, good survey of era
  • Morris, Edmund. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, to 1901 (1979) Pulitzer prize biography.
  • Paludin, Philip. A People's Contest: The Union and the Civil War, 1861-1865 1988.
  • Potter, David. The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (1976), Pulitzer prize history of politics
  • Summers, Mark Wahlgren. Rum, Romanism & Rebellion: The Making of a President, 1884 (2000) online edition
  • Williams, R. Hal. Years of Decision: American Politics in the 1890s. 1978.


  • Blum, John Morton The Republican Roosevelt. (1954). essays that examine how TR did politics
  • Brands, H.W. Theodore Roosevelt (2001), full biography online edition
  • Chace, James. 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft, and Debs - The Election That Changed the Country. (2004). 323 pp.
  • Mowry, George. The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912. (1954) general survey of era; online
  • McCoy, Donald, Calvin Coolidge: The Quiet President (1967),
  • Pringle, Henry F. The Life and Times of William Howard Taft: A Biography. 2 vol (1939); Pulitzer prize; the standard biography vol 1 online
  • Smith, Richard Norton. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, (1987) full-length scholarly biography.
  • David Thelen, Robert M. La Follette and the Insurgent Spirit 1976. short interpretive biography

1932 to 1980

  • Bell, Jonathan. The Liberal State on Trial: The Cold War and American Politics in the Truman Years, (2004), 404pp; detailed analysis of impact of foreign policy on key elections 1946-48-50 excerpt and text search
  • Bibby, John F. "Party Organizations, 1946-1996," in Byron E. Shafer, ed. Partisan Approaches to Postwar American Politics, (1998)
  • Brennan, Mary C. Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP (1995) online edition
  • Greene, John Robert. The Limits of Power: The Nixon and Ford Administrations
  • Morris, Roger. Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician (1990).
  • Parmet, Herbert S. Eisenhower and the American Crusades (1972) online edition
  • Patterson, James T. Mr. Republican: A Biography of Robert A. Taft (1972)
  • Perlstein, Rick. Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2002) very well written narrative of politics 1960-64 excerpt and text search
  • Perlstein, Rick. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008) very well written narrative of politics 1964-68
  • Reichley, James; Conservatives in an Age of Change: The Nixon and Ford Administrations, Brookings Institution, 1981. online edition
  • Reinhard, David W. The Republican Right since 1945 (1983) online edition
  • Smith, Richard Norton. Thomas E. Dewey and His Times. (1982)
  • Sundquist, James L. Dynamics of the Party System: Alignment and Realignment of Political Parties in the United States (1983) online edition
  • Wagner, Steven. Eisenhower Republicanism: Pursuing the Middle Way. (2006). 179 pp. isbn 978-0-87580-362-3.)
  • White, Theodore. The Making of the President: 1960 (1961); The Making of the President: 1964 (1965); The Making of the President 1968 (1969) classic narratives
  • White, William S. The Taft Story (1954); Pulitzer Prize. online edition

1980 - Present

  • Barone, Michael, and Grant Ujifusa, The Almanac of American Politics 2006: The Senators, the Representatives and the Governors: Their Records and Election Results, Their States and Districts (2007) covers all the live politicians with amazing detail. New edition every two years since 1975.
  • Black, Earl and Merle Black. Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics (2007)
  • Cannon, Lou. President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime (2000), online edition
  • Ehrman, John, The Eighties: America in the Age of Reagan (2005)
  • Frank, Thomas. What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2005), liberal criticism of GOP
  • Levy, Peter B. Encyclopedia of the Reagan-Bush Years Greenwood Press, 1996 online edition
  • Pemberton, William E. Exit with Honor: The Life and Presidency of Ronald Reagan (1998) biography by historian; online edition
  • Reeves, Richard. President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination (2005) detailed analysis by historian
  • Sabato, Larry J. Divided States of America: The Slash and Burn Politics of the 2004 Presidential Election (2005).
  • Sabato, Larry J. ed. The Sixth Year Itch: The Rise and Fall of the George W. Bush Presidency (1907), in-depth essays by scholars
  • Wilentz, Sean. The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008 (2008), major narrative history
  • Wooldridge, Adrian and John Micklethwait. The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America sophisticated study by two British journalists (2004). excerpt and text search