The GOP's Identity Crisis

Can the Republican Party reinvent itself?

Issue: March-April 2014

IN 1958, after the Republican Party suffered a stinging defeat in the midterm elections that compounded the 1954 loss of its briefly held control of Congress, Whittaker Chambers sent a letter to William F. Buckley Jr. Buckley, who had founded National Review three years earlier, was trying to create a conservative insurgency. Like many other conservatives, including Ronald Reagan, he revered Chambers for his searing break with Communism and his exposure of Alger Hiss as a Soviet agent, which he chronicled in his memoir Witness.

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