It was learning how to act: how letters got written, how doors got knocked on, how co-workers could be won over on the coffee break, how to print a bumper sticker and how to pry one off with a razor blade; how to put together a network whose force exceeded the sum of its parts by orders of magnitude; how to talk to a reporter, how to picket, and how, if need be, to infiltrate--how to make the anger boiling inside you ennobling, productive, powerful, instead of embittering.These were practical lessons that anybody in politics must pick up. For conservatives, the rough indoctrination came in 1964, and Perlstein (who is not a conservative) tells their story in detail and with panache. Before the Storm is not a history of conservative ideas (for that, read The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, by George Nash), but a chronicle of how these ideas began to matter in politics. The victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980--to say nothing of Newt Gingrich in 1994 and George W. Bush in 2000--might not have been possible without the glorious failure of Barry Goldwater in 1964. As Perlstein writes, "You lost in 1964. But something remained after 1964: a movement. An army. An army that could lose a battle, suck it up, regroup, then live to fight a thousand battles more." --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Overall, this book is well worth reading, for anyone with an interest in American politics -- present as well as past.
It shows how, despite all these flaws, a young journalist can wright a great book about one of the most surprising political movements in modern American history.
Perlstein makes the case that the truly counter-cultural influence of the decade was the onset of the modern conservative movement.
This book is a great portrait of Barry Goldwater and his times. The book deals specifically with the lead- up to the 1964 election and the movement that latched onto and surrounded... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Brandon Whisenhunt
This has been a long read but a good one. I lived through that time but was kind of young. One can see some real signposts for what was to come in the Republican party. Read morePublished 28 days ago by David Hergert
Before the Storm is the first volume of Perlstein's multi-volume study of the shift to the right of the Republican Party, and the rise of Ronald Reagan. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Fred T. Isquith
A must-read for anyone who wants to understand what led up to the Conservative movement taking over American politics, to the great detriment of us all. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ed
Well-researched and superbly written account of the rise of Barry Goldwater and the beginning of the modern conservative movement in America.Published 1 month ago by Pen Guy
I'm a big fan of Perlstein - having read his last two books in the series before this. His trilogy gives readers a strong background on the rise of the modern conservative... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gary Hanson
This book focusses on the 1964 election, which looked like disaster for the American conservatism, but turned out to be its seedbed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anne Mills