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Politics, Principle and Standing Up to Donald Trump: Moral Courage in the Republican Party

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Title: Politics, Principle and Standing Up to Donald Trump
Subtitle: Moral Courage in the Republican Party
Subject Classification: Politics and Government, Morals, Society and Culture, Psychology, History 
BIC Classification: JP, HP, JH
BISAC Classification: POL025000, SOC031000, HIS036070
Binding: Hardback, pp.(to be confirmed)
Planned Publication date: February 2024
ISBN (printed book): 978-1-80441-524-5
ISBN (web pdf): 978-1-80441-525-2

Price: £87.99

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The Muslim ban. Immigrant children, caged, isolated from their families. Downplaying COVID-19. Infatuation with foreign dictators. Voter fraud. Election denial. Encouraging the January 6th 2021 Capital insurrection. Despite Donald Trump’s many legal and moral abuses, most Republican Party leaders continue to support him. Why? How can we explain Republican complicity?

True believers in the MAGA cult are rare. There are moderate Republican members of Congress  – Kevin McCarthy, Lindsay Graham, and Mitch McConnell –  who publicly rebuked Trump, only to later back down and support him and his version of the truth. The motivation driving these powerful political leaders – fear, self-interest, lack of moral fiber – is less interesting than is a related question: What propelled the moral courage of the few traditionally conservative Republicans who refused to go along with Trump and his obvious lies? 

The world saw great physical courage on January 6th, as members of the Capital police fought against overwhelming odds, risking their lives to protect members of Congress. Such physical courage is commendable and rare. Yet moral courage – the willingness to stand up and fight for what you believe is right, even when you know it will cost you – is even rarer. How can we explain why some Republicans followed their consciences, while many others did not? 

This is the topic of this book.  Analyzing in-depth interviews, public speeches, journals, documents, and other data from dedicated Republicans -- Senators McCain, Romney, and Flake, Representatives Kinzinger and Cheney, committed Republican stalwarts Rick Wilson and Anthony Scaramucci, and dedicated Republican officeholders like Miles Taylor -- lends insight into both what drives moral courage, and the double-edged sword aspect of moral courage in politics, in which every act of moral courage is also a complex act of betrayal.


Author: Kristen Monroe is Distinguished Professor of Politics at UC Irvine and Director of its Ethics Center. With over 20 books on politics, ethics, and psychology, Monroe is best known for her award-winning trilogy on altruism and moral choice. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, Monroe’s scholarly honors include numerous awards from the International Society of Political Psychology (past president) and the American Political Science Association (past vice-president), plus fellowships to The American Academy in Berlin and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her most recent books are On Ethics and Economics (with Nobel Laureate Ken Arrow), The Unspoken Morality of Childhood (2022), and When Conscience Calls: Moral Courage in Times of Confusion and Despair (2023).


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 

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