(Pdf Download) Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus AUTHOR Rick Perlstein
Much to gain from never doing so 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 ust going to see what that noise in the cellar was Imagine you live in a 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 cement 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 Ri Preface Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus NotesSelected BibliographyAcknowledgmentsIndex 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 "DDB produced the Daisy 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 Establishedlegions of ordinary voters against established 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 Perlstein does a solid Mesagerul 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 couldust 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 kept 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 known characters who were prominent players in the book. 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. 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 Judy Blume: Fearless Storyteller for Teens 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 a 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 hisob 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 knew so much he no longer knew 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 keep this brilliant obsessed guy Perlstein working for so many years following so many threads except our bros in intelligence 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 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 five pages of Before the Storm I now know than any non American will ever need to know 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 the 1964 and 2016 Republican compaigns
ARE JUST TOO INTERESTING NOT TOjust too interesting to to know And it turns out I am not the only one who finds Goldwater s 1964 campaign interesting Ted Cruz has been studying the back room work that won Goldwater a majority at the 1964 Republican Convention If Trump had read this book he would not be surprised to see Lyin
Ted Stealing His DelegatesEncouragingly Forstealing his delegatesEncouragingly for the book shows that Goldwater stood a much better chance of winning the Presidency than LBJ s landslide victory implies Goldwater wanted to fight a noble campaign of conservative ideas without resorting to campaign trickery and surrounded himself with cronies from Arizona that were broadly speaking incompetent If Goldwater had been flexible around policy and pragmatic about how his campaign was run he stood a good chance of winning November might tell us whether or not Cruz has done his homework and learnt from Goldwater s errors Before the Storm is full of places where the 1964 and 2016 presidential campaigns converge or diverge Here are a few examplesThe mainstream GOP choice was Nelson Rockefeller a candidate who shared a lot in common with Jeb Bush son of a famous family rich leisured entitled mediocre dull Understandably the public was left cold In 1964 Rockefeller was seen by many as an East Coast Liberal out of touch with the concerns with the rest of the country Nelson Rockefeller and Jeb Bush Republican mediocritiesRather uaintly in 1964 people used to believe that New Yorkers like Rockefeller exercised malign influence over Wall Street and by extension the rest of the country Nowadays of course we know that Wall Street exercises a malign influence over the rest of the country regardless of what New Yorkers do But this outlook was another black mark against Rockefeller Members of extreme right wing groups such as the John Birch Society the Tea Party of its day suspected Rockefeller and even incredibly Eisenhower of being communists The tradition of stupefying ignorance on the fringes of the GOP extends back to well before 2016So ust like Goldwater back in 1964 in 2016 Trump and Cruz occupied the vacancy on the GOP bench left open by the unpopularity of the mainstream candidate And ust like Trump and Cruz in 2016 Goldwater attracted some rather unconventional support Strange bed sheets for strange GOP bed fellowsIn 1964 Goldwater s team had to distance themselves from extremists on the conservative right wing in order to maintain their credibility In contrast these days Trump and Cruz discretely call out to extremists blowing on their dog whistles with as much puff as they can muster Trump delays condemning his endorsement from David Duke Cruz shares a platform with religious bigots who call for death to LGBT individualsSome things never change in GOP politics Just like today back in 1964 the GOP were happy to exploit the fears of the electorate in order to win votes A real difference between 1964 and now was that in 1964 America was facing an imminent threat to its existence nuclear war with the USSR Unsurprisingly the Cold War was a major concern of the electorate and focus of the 1964 campaign Lyndon Johnson understood how souls were move. 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. .
Free download Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American ConsensusD by dark thoughts that crept up on sleepless nights Men worry about heart attacks he would say clasping his chest Women worry about cancer of the tit here he abbed the breastplate of his nearest companion But everybody worries about war and peace Everything else is chickenshit In 2016 America also faces clear and present existential threats but ones very different from those of 1964 These threats are largely ignored by the candidates of 2016 climate change pollution environmental destruction The difference of course is that these are not imminent threats but rather threats that accumulate imperceptibly by degrees They can be safely ignored by a GOP that needs to exaggerate fears to raise votes and can be paid lip service to by a Democratic party that needs to raise donor money from the fossil fuel industry or pollutersSo whereas the 1964 Campaign focused on the pressing issue of nuclear holocaust and the end of the world the 2016 campaign focuses on marginal threats such as the danger from ISIS terrorists infiltrating across the Mexican border or from shariah law in Arizona Sadly neither the Democrats of today nor LBJ in 1964 did much to put these issues in a proper perspectiveIt is interesting from a purely historical perspective to take a closer look at how the GOP and the Democrats dealt with the real threat of global nuclear war in the 1964 campaignGoldwater s weakest spot was being seen as a warmonger who might trigger a nuclear exchange One has to wonder whether this would be a weak spot in a candidate today His background included flying planes from the US to deploy on the front line for WW2 and he loved to talk about military euipment which didn t do much to dispel the warmonger image His support for allowing military commanders the authority to launch nuclear strikes didn t help much either Neither did his advocacy of weapons systems such as the Davy Crockett the atomic warhead mounted on a portable recoilless rifle which had the drastic design flaw of sometimes including within its blast zone the infantry men firing the weapon The Davey Crockett pulling the string launches the atomic warheadIn 1964 LBJs campaign produced ads that were pioneering in their day in exploiting the fears of the electorate These ads didn t mention candidates by name and favored raw fear and emotion over rationality a tradition adopted by political ads to this day The ads are good enough to warrant a look at even nowThe Daisy ad only thirty seconds long Do you want your children counting down to a nuclear holocaust This ad was so effective at fear mongering it was only broadcast once Test Ban an effective reminder from the Johnson campaign that Kennedy s test ban might have saved humanity from nuclear destruction So in 1964 the Democrats were able to effectively counteract GOP fear mongering by pointing out that the GOP itself was something ustifiably to fear This is something that most of the Democrats have conspicuously failed to do in 2016 Instead of explaining to the electorate that ISIS are many thousands of miles away and present much less of a threat to the average American household than keeping a gun in the home they have let the fear mongering go unchecked In 1964 the Democrat s attack ads were amusing and effectiveThe legacy of the Goldwater campaign that is felt most strongly today in the moral sphere It was in 1964 that the GOP began holding the Democratic Party accountable for most of the social ills of the day Just
like Trump in 2016 back in 1964 the GOP was wagingTrump in 2016 back in 1964 the GOP was waging on political correctness although it wasn t called political correctness at the time Just like today victory over political correctness meant having the right to speak your prejudice out loud Goldwater had said back
In January That The ReasonJanuary that the reason people were on relief was because they were stupid or lazywhen he asked those who criticized him if they thought what he said was right they invariably responded Oh yes you re right but you shouldn t have said it The Republican party s first attempt to capture the moral high ground was a film called Choice in which LBJ is the driver of an out of control Cadillac as a metaphor for out of control moral decline It s worth watching ust for some entertaining examples of what passed as immoral behavior in the sixties At the time the advert was a failure Mentions of men for sale and shots lingering over pictures of young women in bikinis left the electorate with the impression that the Goldwater campaign had for their own strange reasons decided to produce a porno movie But ever since 1964 the GOP has taken up the fight for moral righteousness and for the time being has won the issues vote Cruz has valiantly picked up this fight for American moral purity with his legal attack on dildos vibrators and other marital aids which are illegal in Texas This will no doubt win him as many votes in 2016 as Goldwater s film did in 1964So what did I learn from reading this immensely detailed book I learnt that things are going to get uglyIf you ve been thinking that with its talk of carpet bombing delegate theft small hands and menstruating TV reporters the campaign is already ugly well you ain t seen nothing yet Just wait until the 2016 Republican Convention If it is anything like the Republican Convention of 1964 it will be a doozyFortunately help is at hand An enterprising political pundit has produced a guide to candidate selection that could help keep both Republican and Democratic Conventions civilizedIf this flowchart is converted into
a flyer and handed out in Cleveland and Philadelphia delegates will beflyer and handed out in Cleveland and Philadelphia delegates will be to focus on the key election issues in a way that they haven t done to date Using this America can elect the President it deserves in 2016 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 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 with these issues Somehow I doubt itthere s too. 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.