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The Conscience Of A Conservative Hardcover – May 9, 2011
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About the Author
Barry Goldwater (1909–1998) was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr. Conservative". Goldwater is the politician most often credited for sparking the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. He also had a substantial impact on the libertarian movement. Goldwater rejected the legacy of the New Deal and fought through the conservative coalition to defeat the New Deal coalition. He mobilized a large conservative constituency to win the hard-fought Republican primaries. Goldwater's right-wing campaign platform ultimately failed to gain the support of the electorate and he lost the 1964 presidential election to incumbent Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson by one of the largest landslides in history, bringing down many Republican candidates as well. The Johnson campaign and other critics painted him as a reactionary, while supporters praised his crusades against the Soviet Union, labor unions, and the welfare state. His defeat allowed Johnson and the Democrats in Congress to pass the Great Society programs, but the defeat of so many older Republicans in 1964 also cleared the way for a younger generation of American conservatives to mobilize. Goldwater was much less active as a national leader of conservatives after 1964; his supporters mostly rallied behind Ronald Reagan, who became governor of California in 1967 and the 40th President of the United States in 1981. Goldwater returned to the Senate in 1969, and specialized in defense policy, bringing to the table his experience as a senior officer in the Air Force Reserve. His greatest accomplishment was arguably the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which restructured the higher levels of the Pentagon by increasing the power of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to direct military action. In 1974, as an elder statesman of the party, Goldwater successfully urged President Richard Nixon to resign when evidence of a cover-up in the Watergate scandal became overwhelming and impeachment was imminent. By the 1980s, the increasing influence of the Christian right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater's libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the religious right on issues such as abortion, gay rights and the role of religion in public life. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Given the current political landscape, I was drawn to further research this politician I've heard a mixed-bag of discourse about. Barry Goldwater's curious path through decades of dramatic social and political change is the kind of story a novelist wouldn't dream of trying to sell - it's that fantastic. His larger than life character is what is, perhaps, best remembered, especially his rants and outbursts on the campaign trail that may have cost him the presidency, and the support of his own party. Given that simple description, it's no wonder that some talking heads are comparing a certain current presidential candidate to the powerhouse that was Barry Goldwater.
But what is lacking in that comparison, and what Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative" highlights so well, is the underlying, deep-seated, thoughtful and intelligent prose of a man obviously full of conviction. His knowledge of the Constitution, and his desire to not trample on it is unyielding. He's not unreasonable, as so many would have us believe. He acknowledges that certain aspects of life are not what they should be in the late 50s. But he suggests - nay, he commands, that the path to rectifying these situations must be through the proper paths laid out by the Constitution. Admittedly, when he wrote, he was much more eloquent than when he seemed to get overly excited on the campaign trail.
I adored the majority of this book. Whether I agreed with his views or not, it was obvious they were well thought out and intelligent. I could see why his arguments might make sense. I did become frustrated towards the end of the book. His views on anti-communism, while sound, seemed to go off on quite a passionate tangent - almost to the point of a rant. Reminded me of what happens with many publications by well-known political figures: their agenda gets the best of them at some point, and without an editor reeling them in, the tangent takes over. He has some interesting commentary during this section about negotiations, which you almost wonder if some of today's politicians have snatched up verbatim to use regarding current events.
I highly recommend this book to anyone planning to cast a ballot - ever. I think it's important to be an informed voter, and Goldwater can teach all of us a few things about the Constitution.
The specific version that I am reviewing is the BN Publishing hardcover ISBN 956-310-021-2 and looks like it was printed in 2007.
It is 5 3/4" wide by 8 3/4" long. It "appears" to be a direct copy of the paperback by Regnery Publishing ISBN 978-0-89526-540-1. The paperback is roughly 4 1/4 " by 7". Both books have the exact same font and type and the content on the pages is the same size even though the hardcover is a larger book. In the paperback the type has a small margin and in the hardcover it has a very large margin because the content is the same size.
This version has no table of contents. It has no introduction or preface or commentary whatsoever. It starts on page one, chapter one and, like the paperback that it seems to copy, it ends on page 117.
It is a fine copy though and it has a nice hard cover that seems OK and should be more durable than a paperback. If you're looking for a clean new copy of this book with no introductions by anyone or any other "stuff" in it, then this might be for you. If, like me, you're looking for nice classic copy to collect or preserve or gift, then you might want to keep looking.