EBOOK / KINDLE (Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus) by Rick Perlstein

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 conservatives finally 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 from the EisenhowerTaftDewey Era to something resembling the modern party For the first time since Reconstruction the Republican party won the Cotton Belt This election set pieces in moving that would dominate the party for the next generation As well as featuring the political resurrection of Richard M Nixon the election of 64 witnessed the emergence of Ronald Reagan as a national figure on the right The election is intriguing for reasons than as an augur of the future Barry Goldwater was a new ind 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 well funded 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 you If you re not familiar 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 first 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 1964 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 from 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 fantastic book In it Perlstein gives an account of the cultural wars of the latter half of the sixties and early seventies an If you read Before The Storm after Nixonland as I did be warned the fluency and fury of that book is absent Before The Storm is a denser focused read casting Perlstein as a historian s historian fusing the great narrative tradition of Anglo Saxon history writing with the ultra detailed thick description of the continental schools It s still a blast but the thick description is at times very thick the detail of convention politicking as much re enactment as analysis Perlstein doesn t need to spell his conclusions out too much if you don t come away from Before The Storm believing the received wisdom about youth and the 1960s leaves half the story out then what book were you readingPerlstein is on the left himself but as a historian that doesn t matter he s drawn to energy and political wiles even when they re malicious if his Nixon isn t uite the Shakespearean monster of his second book he s still the most compelling of the B cast here And Perlstein despises folly and complacency particularly in the pundit class There is plenty of it to go around Before The Storm and Perlstein s work in general is among the most righteous fruit of Gen X s simmering love hate arrangement with the Baby Boomer left He can t settle on which horrifies him most their unreasonable conviction that they would win or their later hallucination that they did He s a liberal writing Whig history as horror where the placid teleology of progressivism is recast as the docile idiocy of teenagers in a slasher flick with Perlstein in the audience shaking his head as liberal America insists on skinny dipping at midnight or just going to see what that noise in the cellar was Man oh man I think I Mobilizing New York know everything I d ever want tonow 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 so 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 much of what made the 1964 election so dysfunctional and weird read like reporting on 2016 I came away from the book wondering if we ll ever truly grapple successfully

these issues Somehow I doubt s too much to gain from never doing so UPDATE Rick Perlstein has written an outstanding article appearing top of the front page of the New York Times I Thought I Understood the American Right Trump Proved me Wrong The article reads as Rick Perlstein s mea culpa for underestimating extremism in the development of today s conservative movement for example ignoring the popularity of groups such as the German American Bund or the Black Legion #For anyone interested in the history behind Trump s presidency this article is a must readAfter finishing six hundred and twenty #anyone interested in the history behind Trump s presidency this article is a must readAfter finishing six hundred and twenty pages of Before the Storm I now Aspects of South African Literature know than any non American will ever need tonow about the US Presidential Campaign of 1964Why invest so much time reading a book about an obscure US election campaign than half a century in the past Because the parallels between the 1964 and 2016 Republican compaigns are just too interesting not to want to now And it turns out I am not the only one who finds Gol. 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.
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Rick Perlstein ´ 2 Review


Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American ConsensusPerlstein does a solid job of describing the rise of the conservative movement that began in the late 50s gained steam in the early 60s and resulted in Barry Goldwater s Republican nomination and subseuent landslide defeat at the hands of Lyndon Johnson in 1964 Perlstein delves into the various elements that came together to almost force Goldwater to run He details how sometimes Goldwater and his Arizona mafia all close friends of his from Arizona who he insisted on trusting with running his campaign caused his followers consternation than Democrats did Goldwater emerges here as a reluctant stubborn and disinterested individual who would have much preferred to have stayed in the Senate which he went back to by winning a seat in the 1968 election At times it almost seemed like Goldwater wanted to lose so he could just be left alone One of the most interesting segments of the book has to do with the other contenders for the 1964 Republican nomination and the general state of the party following Richard Nixon s 1960 loss to JFK Perlstein discusses how Nelson Rockefeller tried to force himself on the Party how Nixon ept uietly maneuvering for the 1968 nomination how William Scranton could have made a serious challenge in the primaries but hesitated until the convention was almost ready to begin and how Dwight Eisenhower was lukewarm towards Goldwater but refused to endorse any of the Republican candidates Also mentioned is the rise of Ronald Reagan from GE spokesman and registered Democrat to conservative icon The only thing that I would have liked to have seen would have been an epilogue briefly describing what became of some of the lesser nown characters who were prominent players in the book 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 force 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 form of gripping short TV spots created by the firm of Doyle Dane Bernbach for 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 for the first time and shook the Democratic Party s hold on northern union voters both developments stemming to Goldwater s consternation largely from racial hostility Perlstein describes each development in detail recreating a huge cast of colorful characters and shadowy organizations and setting them loose to rampage through our image of the early Sixties He appends a discreet 109 page 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 Preface Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus NotesSelected BibliographyAcknowledgmentsIndex Imagine you live in Preface Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus NotesSelected BibliographyAcknowledgmentsIndex Imagine you live in town of twenty or fifty or one hundred thousand soulswith a colonnaded red brick city hall at its center a Main Street running its breadth avenues ringed with modest bungalows and named for trees and exotic heroes and local luminaries interrupted at intervals by high steepled churches On the outskirts of town are factories It is June 1959 and three shifts a day they throw up great clouds #Of Smoke Churning Out Vast Pools Of #smoke churning out vast pools of cords of lumber spools of rolled steel machine parts of every size and description Although no one who didn t have to would ever venture inside one of these factories locals point to them with pride because they are what make their little town prosper and because all over the world foundries use machine parts inscribed with your town s name Imagine you are the proprietor of one of these concerns Rick Perlstein Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of American Consensus Good day to you sirma m Thank you for answering your door I ve only been nocking for ten minutes What do I want Why I m here to make a literary suggestion Could I interest you in a book on the 1964 US presidential elect Hold on It s impolite to throw things at people when they re talking Now you re walking away And still throwing thingsI get it It hasn t been that long since we finished the most bruising election cycle in recent memory if not the most bruising in all the history of the United States Rather than cooling passions the election has made them boil over Families are sundered Friendships altered The internet is no longer a fun place to visit It s understandable that you might want to take a break from the whole politics thing But hear me out At which point I will remove my foot and you can close your door This is about a completely different time period It s the story of a an anti establishment Republican presidential candidate that some people think is literally mad He snatches the nomination away from other far established candidates due to a strong grass roots movement that taps into decades of political frustration The Republican establishment furiously tries to stop him His Democratic opponent is a lifelong politician who is marred by scandal and accused of voracious ambition There are vicious television ads People are marching in the streets Family gatherings become even less enjoyable than before Oh wait That s exactly like today Okay so maybe this isn t so much an escape from the present as it is a counterfactual Still you should read Rick Perlstein s Before the Storm Not because you ll learn a lot though you will but because this is how history should be written It is sweeping informed and entertaining as heck Before the Storm gripped me from the start Its introduction excerpted above is pure Caro and I mean that as the highest compliment I can best. 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. Ow on an authorhistorianPerlstein uses this clever bit of scene setting to describe the Dream Save Do: Life is Short, Live Your Dream kernel from which the modern American conservative movement sprung This hypothetical factory owner hated Franklin Roosevelt has tangled with organized labor and feels beset by governmental regulations He voted for Eisenhower and then felt betrayed when he expanded the Federal Government He wondered whether his party the Republican Party would ever advance a true conservative And then came Goldwater At 516 pages of text Before the Storm is rather hefty and it tells a big tale In four sections Perlstein covers the ideological underpinnings of the new conservative movement the rise of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater as the torchbearer of that conservatism Goldwater s surprise nomination and the election of 1964 which resulted in Goldwater s historic trouncing at the hands of President Lyndon Johnson Perlstein tells this story in narrative fashion with a flair for capturing personalities and a real skill at delivering riveting set pieces Before the Storm is generous in its broad sweep and precise with its telling details Once I got going I had a hard time putting it down Obviously this is a book about politics Politics is a touchy subject Give me a call if you want me to list other super obvious things about life Before you pick it up you probably want tonow where its author is coming from on the ideological spectrum Okay I ll indulge your whims Before the Storm is a book about the American Right written by an author from the American Left Does that mean it s biased Of course The bias though is implicit Take for instance the passage I excerpted above Perlstein takes pains to imagine the worldview and logic behind a Goldwater supporter but the very act of this imagination shows where Perlstein s political convictions resideCertainly Perlstein is fair in his presentation He may not agree with Clarence Manion one of the godfathers of the movement or F Clifton White who engineered Goldwater s nomination but he is certainly respectful of them and their talents He presents William F Buckley almost with reverence like a prophet who has seen the latter day LBJ on the other hand probably gets the roughest treatment of anyone with the exception of arch segregationist George Wallace What I m trying to say is that this is history than politics Perlstein is attempting to trace the arc of the conservative movement rather than attack or critiue it If he has an axe to grind it s pretty subtle Frankly if it were otherwise I wouldn t have bothered I have no interest in extremes or dogmatists Life doesn t happen at the poles and neither does history LBJ won big in 1964 So did his party The Democrats took both Houses of Congress leading many contemporary pundits to declare and not for the last time the death of the Republican Party This didn t happen And in the ashes of defeat there were signs of life For instance the number of Goldwater volunteers and micro donors hugely outnumbered those people working for Johnson Goldwater s movement lived on Within a few years the Titanic of the Democrats would slam into the iceberg of Vietnam The Age of Roosevelt soon gave way to the Age of Reagan Perlstein argues in his introduction that the Goldwater campaign beget the Republican resurgence and that his ideology once labeled fringe has become mainstream doctrine Before the Storm s narrative is so good I barely realized that Perlstein never satisfactorily concluded the argument he teases in the first few pages Of course Before the Storm published in 2001 is the first book of a trilogy Nixonland and The Invisible Bridge are the follow ups so perhaps that is covered in later volumes The subtitle of Before the Storm is Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of American Consensus That is an interesting phrase American Consensus Perlstein Orality in Igbo (African) Literature knows as well as anyone that America has never had much consensus about anything The result of the 1860 election after all was the bloodiest war in US history What Perlstein means I think is that there was a myth of consensus People might disagree with each other but we could paper that over with some shared truths and common ground That veneer has uite disappeared Not only do we lack consensus but consensus is no longer a virtue Compromise is seen as surrender Empathizing with your opponents is now a moral hazard Talking about politics in real life as opposed to the echo chambers we find online can get ugly real fast I hesitated to post this review because the last thing I need literally the last I d prefer aick in the nuts is a web based political argument It is a long road that brought us to this place Before the Storm is not always a pleasant story It is definitely not a diversion However it is strange as it sounds incredibly enjoyable to read Occasionally can drift into condescension writing off the conservative movement as a fit 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 for breaking down the stuff of sociology with a particularly apt everyday analogy It s hard to believe Perlstein wrote this had this published only in 2001 It is so detailed and filled with period detail 1960s that he writes as though these people or events were familiar to us in some way He writes in English but he may as well be talking about another country the information is so distant from my sphere Add to that the extraordinary density of the information I suppose like Caro s LBJ series and you come up with a fascinating I m sure work that is completely undigestible in 2017I am interested in Goldwater and how conservatives sort of went off the deep end after the 1950s with all the Commies in the workforce labor unions government theatre schools media yada yada but am not interested enough to relive that narrow minded idiocy We have enough of that right here right now Just give me the highlights that s his job isn t it I mean that s what I m paying for I didn t write this thing after allPerlstein was completely brilliant and completely obsessed he followed every conversation with diligence He Modern English in Action (Level 12) knew so much he no longernew what was important to tell us Is Hill Wang the official CIA publishing company Just #wonderinghave seen it come up beforeand who else could afford to Nature-Inspired Metaheuristic Algorithms keep this it come up beforeand who else could afford toeep this obsessed guy Perlstein working for so many following so many threads except our bros in intelligence 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. An from Arizona who loathed federal government despised liberals and mocked “peaceful coexistence” with the USSR Perlstein's narrative shines a light on a whole world. ,