Are George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush Really ‘The Last Republicans?’

A new book says the GOP is at a major turning point.

By Laura RiceDecember 4, 2017 2:05 pm

A 1992 copy of Time magazine, published right around this time of year, included a piece by longtime columnist Hugh Sidey. He wrote about how the reelection defeat of George H.W. Bush marked not just the passing of the torch to a new generation, but the end of a certain kind of politician – people from the Kennedys to the Roosevelts who often came from money, but were expected to get into public service out a sense of duty. That’s why Bush’s eldest son’s rise to the presidency took Sidey, and many others, by surprise.

That relationship and what followed is the focus of “The Last Republicans”, a new book by presidential scholar Mark Updegrove, former director of the LBJ Presidential Library, now the CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum under construction in Tennessee.

“The title came to me in the spring of 2016, and it was pretty clear that Donald Trump was going to be the standard bearer of the Republican party,” Updegrove says. “And whether he or Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election, it was clear that it was the end to a type of Republicanism,” Updegrove says.

He and others have concerns about the direction the Republican Party has taken, and he speaks about its history and future, even addressing the current political climate and the recent sexual assault accusations against George H.W. Bush.

Learn more about Mark Updegrove’s new book in the player above.


Written by Nahila Bonfiglio.