Ronald Reagan made pushing back on liberal dominance of the political agenda in the 20th century sound so optimistic and upbeat. It was morning in America and his priorities like free trade and reforms in immigration policy later became something of an anathema to an emerging wing of the party that did not see things sunny side up. With Rush Limbaugh and the nationalization of talk radio and the bombast of Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich, the Reagan era, the most successful conservative president in a generation, seems to have been swept away in a torrent of anger and vitriol. By GOP standards today, he was too accommodating and desirous of pleasing a majority of Americans. In her new book,, Nicole Hemmer, a political historian at Vanderbilt University, focuses her analytical skills on the forces at play in the 1990’s that led us to the boiling point many consider election year 2022 to be. There had to be antecedents to the raft of election deniers and Christian nationalists who occupy a dominant wing of today’s GOP party. She names names and explains the factors that led the party away from the principles of Ronald Reagan and to the adoption of the policies and rough hewn personality of its present day leader, Donald Trump.