IT WAS ALL A LIE: How The Republican Party Became Donald Trump
Publication date: May 5, 2020
From the most successful Republican political operative of his generation, a searing, unflinching, and deeply personal exposé of how his party became what it is today.
Stuart Stevens spent decades electing Republicans at every level, from presidents to senators to local officials. He knows the GOP as intimately as anyone in America, and in this new book he offers a devastating portrait of a party that has lost its moral and political compass.
This is not a book about how Donald J. Trump hijacked the Republican Party and changed it into something else. Stevens shows how Trump is in fact the natural outcome of five decades of hypocrisy and self-delusion, dating all the way back to the civil rights legislation of the early 1960s. Stevens shows how racism has always lurked in the modern GOP's DNA, from Goldwater's opposition to desegregation to Ronald Reagan's welfare queens and states' rights rhetoric. He gives an insider's account of the rank hypocrisy of the party's claims to embody "family values," and shows how the party's vaunted commitment to fiscal responsibility has been a charade since the 1980s. When a party stands for nothing, he argues, it is only natural that it will be taken over by the loudest and angriest voices in the room.
It Was All a Lie is not just an indictment of the Republican Party, but a candid and often lacerating mea culpa. Stevens is not asking for pity or forgiveness; he is simply telling us what he has seen firsthand. He helped to create the modern party that kneels before a morally bankrupt con man and now he wants nothing more than to see what it has become burned to the ground.
PRAISE FOR STUART STEVENS' THE INNOCENT HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.
"That title may be the biggest of this satiric thriller's red herrings, since, as far as this book is concerned, there are no innocents in the political process. A charismatic right-wing Republican populist with a hectoring anti-immigrant riff is running for president, and the only person who can slow his roll is a woman moderate with ties to the outgoing administration. No, this book is not about the 2016 presidential campaign. But the fact that even these aspects of the novel are in sync with current events validates its author's credentials as a cagey veteran political operative. That description applies to crafty, cynical J.D. Callahan, who normally would find a million reasons to avoid going back home to New Orleans except that it happens to be the site of a wide-open GOP convention pitting his candidate, incumbent Vice President Hilda Smith, against Colorado Gov. Armstrong George, who's running on a platform powered by anti-terror paranoia as exemplified by what J.D. characterizes as "the crazy train of his wacky New Bill of Rights." These and other characterizations are as quirky as J.D.'s rueful, acerbic commentaries, which make up the best part of this fast-paced carnival of bile, guile, and blow-ups. In an era as politically mercurial as our own, even the most far-fetched events depicted here sound utterly plausible-except for maybe one thing: moderate Republicans? Really? What are those?." Kirkus Reviews
"Stuart Stevens is that rare authorial animal: a political novelist who actually understands politics, who appreciates how the ambition to run the country both shapes and warps character, and who can lay it all down on the page with verve and aplomb. Gimlet-eyed, mordantly funny, and staggeringly well-timed, The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear is the perfect fictional echo of the savage surreality playing out in real time on the national stage. John Heilemann