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.
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 day 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 6 days 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 9 days 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 1 month 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 2 months ago by Anne Mills
I read this after reading Perlsten's other two more recent books on conservatism. It's not quite as good as they are, but if you read those and liked them I can guarantee you'll... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael Lehrman
Perlstein is a bit hard to read as he digresses with sometimes long discussion when new players are introduced. Read morePublished 2 months ago by T. Huston
If anyone is interested in understanding why today's right wing is so harsh, read Rick Perlstein's books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Agnes Meo