From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Senator Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), whose 1960 best-seller Conscience of a Conservative helped define the modern conservative movement, was by 1996 describing himself and Bob Dole as "the new liberals of the Republican Party." Author Dean (Broken Government, Conservatives Without Conscience) and Goldwater Jr., the Senator's son and an eighth-term California congressman, explore the complicated figure in this "scrap book" of journal excerpts, correspondence, articles and other primary testimony. A Republican maverick who valued principle over political expediency, Goldwater can be predictable-maintaining loyalty toward Nixon even as the President edged him out of inner White House circles (as late as May 1973, Goldwater called for Jack Anderson's Pulitzer to be re-dubbed "the Benedict Arnold Award")-but he was neither an ideologue nor a mud-slinger: for instance, his hard-hitting fight against President Johnson stopped short of scandalizing LBJ's chief of staff, arrested for "disorderly" conduct in a men's toilet, and in 1994 he went against the powerful new GOP congress by saying publicly of Whitewater, "I haven't heard anything yet that says this is all that big of a deal." Covering personal life, career and retirement, including his 1964 bid for president, this is an invaluable chronicle of the times, told by an American who changed politics by being, simply, "an honest man who tried his damnedest."
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An invaluable chronicle of the times. (Publishers Weekly (starred review, Web Pick of the Week)
Of all the books on 'Mr. Conservative,' Pure Goldwater
might provide the most realistic insights into his character and thinking. After the birth of Barry Jr., Goldwater started a private journal...that journal is the basis of Pure Goldwater
-- so, in effect, it is a book written by the senator himself, capturing his most intimate thoughts for those closest to him. (The National Review
It's a fitting tribute to a real straight talker, a fine Senator, and one of the most influential conservatives of the past 50 years. (The National Review
A sprawling treasure trove . . . Goldwater is worth rediscovering . . . Conservatives--and liberals, too--take note. (Washington Post Book World
A field guide to the presidential and legislative politics of the middle to late 20th century. Reading Goldwater's descriptions of everything from behind-the-scenes dealings in the Senate or his interactions with Richard Nixon... will provide a literary fix for even the hardest core political junkies... By compiling his writings and publishing many of them in Pure Goldwater
, the editors have performed a great public service. (The Washington Times
The policy thought on display here and throughout the book will by turns delight and infuriate every part of the political spectrum . . . No Goldwater fan can do without a copy . . .
readers can get their fix of the unscripted, unghosted conscience of a conservative from Pure Goldwater
. (Daniel McCarthy, Reason
Goldwater's own words are readable, agree with him or not... entries are thoughtful, informed, even scholarly. (Theo Lippman, Jr., The Baltimore Sun
An engaging memoir... [Goldwater's writings] include funny, salty remarks that add to the folksy style... The editors show Goldwater's ultimate success as being remembered as he hoped to be: 'an honest man who tried his damndest.' Recommended. (Karl Helicher, Library Journal
Particularly interesting. (Arizona Republic
provides new insights into the man viewed by many as a founding figure in modern American conservatism. There's plain talk on a range of political issues here, but also personal glimpses... the journal entries about President Richard Nixon and Watergate are particularly eye-opening. (The Desert Sun