Pure Goldwater

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Pure Goldwater [Hardcover]

John W. Dean , Barry M. Goldwater
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

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."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"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
"Pure Goldwater 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
Praise for Conservatives without Conscience:
"A detailed . . . powerful case in a riveting book."--Los Angeles Times
"Searing . . . an angry indictment."--The Washington Post
"Dean has again amassed evidence of a cancer growing on the presidency."--The New York Times Book Review

Book Description

Barry Goldwater was a defining figure in American public life, a firebrand politician associated with an optimistic brand of conservatism. In an era in which American conservatism has lost his way, his legacy is more important than ever. For over 50 years, in those moments when he was away from the political fray, Senator Goldwater kept a private journal, recording his reflections on a rich political and personal life. Here bestselling author John Dean combines analysis with Goldwater's own words. With unprecedented access to his correspondence, interviews, and behind-the-scenes conversations, Dean sheds new light on this political figure. From the late Senator's honest thoughts on Richard Nixon to his growing discomfort with the rise of the extreme right, Pure Goldwater offers a revelatory look at an American icon--and also reminds us of a more hopeful alternative to the dispiriting political landscape of today.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Q&A with Barry Goldwater, Jr.

Why did you write the book now?
My father's journals are rich with personal observations and feelings that have never been seen before. I am sure my father would not mind them being published for he enjoyed stirring the water of public opinion.

What is the story behind your collaboration with John Dean on this book?
John was doing research for another article at the AZ Historical Foundation located at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona when we stumbled upon several boxes containing my father's journals. These papers were presumed lost. We both came to the same idea that the public should see these and thus started the collaboration.

Will the personal writings in this book change public opinion of who Barry Goldwater, Sr. was?
Yes, they will see a kinder and gentler man who really cared about his country, his family, his party, and the average human being's welfare.

Do you think there is a message that this book has to offer today's presidential hopefuls?
Yes, get politics out of the gutter. Politics and government needs to be restored to a higher level of honesty and dedicated service. Start getting along and stop all the bitter partisan fighting.

Has the Republican Party changed since your father's time in office? If so how?
Conservative Republicans have been taken over by the religious right, the so-called social conservatives. My father had a deep faith in God but he never felt a need to put a bumper sticker on his car or dictate to anyone else how or what to believe. The demand of some to vote for a candidate strictly on the basis of religious views deeply troubled him, as such dictates violated freedom of choice and personal privacy, the antithesis of the original philosophy of the Conservative movement, of which he was a founder.

Why is Goldwater conservatism still relevant today?
Because it is all about maximizing individual freedom. This country is the only country founded on freedom but today we are slowly losing these to a growing government.

About the Author

John W. Dean is a former Nixon White House counsel and the New York Times-bestselling author of Worse than Watergate and Conservatives without Conscience. Barry M. Goldwater, Jr. is a former Congressman from California, and is the son of Senator Barry Goldwater.
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