Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus E–book/E–pub

Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus

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Uch of what made the 1964 election so dysfunctional and weird read like reporting on 2016 I came away If You're Missing Baby Jesus: A True Story that Embraces the Spirit of Christmas from the book wondering if we ll ever truly grapple successfully with these issues Somehow I doubt itthere s too much to gainrom never doing so You go back and tell your crowd that I m going to lose this election I m probably going to lose it real big But I m going to lose it my wayIn this magnificent book Rick Perlstein details seemingly every skirmish conspiracy and speech in the conservative movement s campaign to put Barry Goldwater in the White House in 1960 4 Indeed Before the Storm is less about Goldwater perhaps the least enthusiastic candidate imaginable than about the birth of that conservative movement as a political orce While Goldwater did his best to alienate or exasperate every last supporter not to mention terrify every undecided voter a new generation of right wing intellectuals strategists pamphleteers youth organizers and truebelieving volunteers worked to redefine the Republican Party Although Goldwater lost in a landslide their revolution succeeded1964 was the election that launched the political career of Ronald Reagan and resurrected that of Richard Nixon It inaugurated modern campaign advertising in the orm of gripping short TV spots created by the Anne Perrys Christmas Crimes (Christmas Stories, firm of Doyle Dane Bernbachor Lyndon Johnson Most memorably DDB produced the Daisy Girl ad which depicted Barry Goldwater as a mortal threat to the nation without ever mentioning him It saw the ascendancy of ideological grassroots managers armed with punchcard databases teletype machines and mass market paperback presses who marshaled legions of ordinary voters against established political dynasties It turned the South over to the Republican Party or the irst time and shook the Democratic Party s hold on northern union voters both developments stemming to Goldwater s consternation largely White Water from racial hostility Perlstein describes each development in detail recreating a huge cast of colorful characters and shadowy organizations setting them loose to rampage through our of the early Sixties He appends a 109 scholarly apparatus at the end of the book laying to rest my early doubts that such vivid writing could be the result of careful research I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in contemporary American politics or twentieth century history in general Occasionally can drift into condescension writing off the conservative movement as ait of anger But at least as often this writer can show real perceptiveness as to the motivations of individuals and the most subtle turns in the culture He also has a gift The Slave Dancer for breaking down the stuff of sociology with a particularly apt everyday analog. Of conservatives and their antagonists including William F Buckley Nelson Rockefeller and Bill Moyers Vividly written Before the Storm is an essential book about the 1960s. U If you re notamiliar with the Birchers they were a group of rabid anti Communists who were convinced that the mainstream media and establishment were card carrying Pinkos They weren t satisfied calling Kennedy Marshall and Truman commies they were convinced Eisenhower was red Perlstein s writing on the Birchers is perhaps the most entertaining and insightful writing in this book In addition to other potential candidate s hesitation to run and Nelson Rockefeller s public divorce Before the Storm is a well titled book In ways than one 1964 is a transition point in American history The major mid century cultural and historical trajectories all had some sort of turning point in 64 The year witnessed the passage of the CIvil Rights Act the Gulf of Tonkin Incident the Beatles irst appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and much Perlstein is a talented historian and he is just as natural describing political gamesmanship as he is describing the cultural impact of Kubrick s Dr StrangelovePerlstein subtitles this book this unmaking of the American Consensus Of course partisanship has been a part of the American political tradition since before there was a United States But the storm that according to Perlstein was on the horizon after November the storm that according to Perlstein was on the horizon after November was a growing sense that the other half of the political spectrum were out to destroy everything that was truly remarkable about America The other side became transformed rom an adversary to an enemy This trend wasn t unprecedented just that the last time it was so prevalent we ended up in a civil war Nixonland Perlstein s most recent book is another antastic book In it Perlstein gives an account of the cultural wars of the latter half of the sixties and early seventies and makes the argument that much of the acrimony Surrounding These Battles Was The these battles was the creation of Richard M Nixon Perlstein argues and presents a convincing case that we are still living in Richard Nixon s America However I think Before the Storm might be the relevant work Nixonland explains the past ifty years but through some twist of history Before the Storm seems to often explain the present Man oh man I think I know everything I d ever want to know about the 1964 primary and election yet there s now a brick of a biography on Nelson Rockefeller I m eager to read D I can now See Why Perlstein Is why Perlstein is highly rated as a popular historian He can take a subject such as this and make it absolutely riveting Not only that but even though this was written in 2001 it was highly illuminating about the craziness we witnessed as a nation during the 2016 election There s a long thread woven throughout the politics and social upheavals of the last 60 years and it than depressed me a little that An The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started theLongest War in American History from Arizona who loathedederal government despised liberals and mocked “peaceful coexistence” with the USSR Perlstein's narrative shines a light on a whole world. ,
Imagine you live in a town of twenty or ifty Or One Hundred Thousand Soulswith A Colonnaded Red Brick City one hundred thousand soulswith a colonnaded red brick city at its center a Main Street running its breadth avenues ringed with modest bungalows and named or trees and exotic heroes and local luminaries interrupted at intervals by high steepled churches On the outskirts of town are actories local luminaries interrupted at intervals by high steepled churches On the outskirts of town are actories is June 1959 and three shifts a day they throw up great clouds of smoke churning out vast pools of cement cords of lumber spools of day they throw up great clouds of smoke churning out vast pools of cement cords of lumber spools of steel machine parts of every size and description Although no one who didn t have to would ever venture inside one of these Setting Them Straight: You CAN Do Something About Bigotry and Homophobia in Your Life factories locals point to them with pride because they are what make their little town prosper and because al In honor of Michelle Bachman accidentally comparing herself to John Wayne Gacy I thought I d post a uick review I read this last January and since then I can t count how many times I ve seen the news or heard snippets of conversation and thought to myself Jesus Christ this reminds me of the Perlstein book The 1964 election seems somewhat non conseuential in retrospect History buffs might be able to think of the Daisy ad and Goldwater s extremism in defense of liberty is no vice moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue line at the GOP convention But in the end Johnson crushed Goldwater Johnson won over 61% of the vote the highest since 1820 and one that has yet to be matchedHowever Perlstein persuasively makes the case that the 64 election meant a lot than voting results would suggest 1964 is arguably the birth of the modern GOP This election is where the Southern and Western conservativesinally were able to choose a candidate of their own as opposed to one imposed on them by Northeastern businessmen This is where the GOP transitioned rom the EisenhowerTaftDewey Era to something resembling the modern party For the irst time since Reconstruction the Republican party won the Cotton Belt This election set pieces in moving that would dominate the party 100 ways to Fight the Flab - and still have wine and chocolate for the next generation As well aseaturing the political resurrection of Richard M Nixon the election of 64 witnessed the emergence of Ronald Reagan as a national The Oxford New Greek Dictionary figure on the right The election is intriguingor reasons than as an augur of the The Cello Suites : J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the search for a Baroque masterpiece future Barry Goldwater was a new kind of candidate He was not the establishment s man Indeed the Republican establishment desperately sought a possible anti Goldwater What enable Goldwater to prevail was a strong structured and wellunded organization This backing extended beyond traditional power brokers into something akin to grass root support At the heart of this grass root support was the John Birch Society This is were similarities with contemporary events really jumps out at yo. Acclaimed historian Rick Perlstein chronicles the rise of the conservative movement in the liberal 1960s At the heart of the story is Barry Goldwater the renegade Republic. ,

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