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

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

Paperback

By (author) Rick Perlstein

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Paperback $18.38
  • Publisher: Hill & Wang
  • Format: Paperback | 688 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 211mm x 33mm | 762g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2002
  • ISBN 10: 0809028581
  • ISBN 13: 9780809028580
  • Edition statement: Reprint

Product description

Before the Storm begins in a time very much like the present - the tail end of the 1950s, with America affluent, confident, and convinced that political ideology was a thing of the past.But when John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960, conservatives - Midewestern businessmen, Sun Belt suburbanites, Southern segregationists, and thousands of college students - formed a movement to challenge the center-left consensus. They chose as their hero Barry Goldwater - a rich, handsome Arizona Republican who hated liberalism even mor than he did Moscow - and they grew determined to see him elected President.Goldwater was trounced by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The pundits left conservatism for dead. But by the campaign's end, the consensus found itself squeezed from the left and from the right. As early as 1967 Johnson's Great Society programs were blocked by conservatives in Congress, and the movement had arrived; by 1980 a new conservative standard-bearer, Ronald Reagan, was elected President. Today many of Goldwater's ideas are conventional wisdom for Republications and Democrats alike.Rick Perlstein's original account of the 1960s as the cradle of the conservative movement is also about a revolution in political culture; fears of threats abroad giving way to concerns of disorder at home; campaigns plotted in back rooms giving way to those staged for television; Americans beginning to think of their nation as divided, not united. Filled with portraits of figures from George Wallace to Nelson Rockefeller to Bill Moyers, Before the Storm is a narrative history that adds greatly to our understanding of that controversial era - and of our own.

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