Review by Choice Review
John Dean, the former Nixon White House counsel, and Barry Goldwater Jr., son of the subject, have constructed a compilation of the writings of Barry Goldwater covering roughly 50 years. An interesting two-part story of the personal and political Goldwater emerges. An avid photographer, lover of the outdoors, ham radio operator, department store manager, and WW II aviator, family-centered and community-minded Goldwater had a rich life that he pursued with passion. In politics, he was the straight-talking, patriotic, no-nonsense Republican who worried at all times about the direction of his party, the country, and, in particular, its foreign policy. Goldwater, however, acted in large part with civility toward his political opponents and critics, a distinction that is worth noting in today's political climate. His politics before and after his presidential run and his Senate career, however, never abandoned the premise of straight talk and honest opinion, which in part lost him his 1964 presidential bid. Goldwater's journals, speeches, testimonies, and writings produce a portrait far removed from the two-dimensional. Instead, a rich tapestry emerges. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. C. W. Haury Piedmont Virginia Community College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly 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." (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Review by Library Journal Review
Although mostly remembered for his landslide loss in the 1964 presidential election, Barry Goldwater enjoyed a distinguished 30-year career in the Senate and a full and productive life. His son, an eight-term congressman, and Dean (Conservatives Without Conscience) compiled this collection of Goldwater's letters and selected diary entries across 60 years, letting Goldwater tell his own story. The result is an engaging, if selective, memoir that describes Goldwater's Arizona childhood, family life, politics, many nature hikes through his beloved Arizona, and the Presidents he knew, including JFK, whom he considered a good President, and Nixon, whom he came to loathe as a result of Watergate. The writings here were not intended for publication; Goldwater wrote them for his children. Some include funny, salty remarks that add to the folksy style. This icon of conservatism often mentions his contempt for large government and taxes but also reveals his pro-choice views, support for gay rights, environmental concern, and support for a state holiday honoring Martin Luther King. Not included is Goldwater's take on the 1964 election, other than blaming his pasting on the media and Lyndon Johnson's dirty tricks. The editors show Goldwater's ultimate success as being remembered as he hoped to be: "an honest man who tried his damndest." Recommended for public and academic libraries.--Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.