AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"In his bare-knuckles account, Stevens confesses to the reader that the entire apparatus of his Republican Party is built on a pack of lies... This reckoning inspired Stevens to publish this blistering, tell-all history... Although this book will be a hard read for any committed conservatives, they would do well to ponder it."
--Julian E. Zelizer, The New York Times
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.
Political consultant Stevens, a strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential bid, debuts with a searing critique of the current state of the Republican Party. Contending that Donald Trump's rise calls the GOP's fundamental integrity into question, Stevens connects Trumpism to the rhetoric and policies of predecessors including Joe McCarthy and Newt Gingrich. In reviewing the party's "Southern strategy" of appealing to former Democrats aggrieved by the civil rights movement, Stevens admits to playing the race card in his first congressional campaign in 1978, when he promoted a rival candidate in a successful effort to split the black vote between the Democratic incumbent and an African-American challenger. He questions the Republican Party's commitment to family values, fiscal prudence, and intellectual rigor, successfully illustrating the gap between rhetoric and reality. Stevens, who claims to have amassed "the best win-loss record of anyone in my business," admits to having been duped by Republican candidates who professed conservative principles but abandoned them in order to "embrac a racist unprepared to be president" a confessional quality that distinguishes this account from others by center-right figures. Readers hoping that the post-Trump GOP charts a new path will savor this thoughtful expos .