Chapter One: The Rise and Fall of the Conservative Republican Majority
In 1969, a year after Richard Nixon won the presidency, Kevin Phillips, an aide to Attorney General John Mitchell, published a book entitled The Emerging Republican Majority.
The apparent confirmation of its thesis in 1972 -- not to mention Phillips's proximity to the administration -- eventually landed it on the best-seller lists.
Like other books of its kind, however, it was cited more often than it was read, and its actual thesis has been clouded by its notoriety. Phillips did not argue that Republicans had already created a majority -- in fact, when he...