Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Arizona Senator runs for President

We have a new book about the political career, Presidential campaign and personal history of a famous Arizona Senator. Nope, not that one. Our new book is about Barry Goldwater, who became a political lightning rod during the 1964 Presidential campaign. Pure Goldwater, by John W. Dean and Barry M. Goldwater, Jr., isn't so much an analysis or interpretation of Goldwater's actions and motivations. Instead, it is a collection of journal entries, speeches, letters and editorials whose selection attempts to present Goldwater in his own words. The authors do add notes to the various entries, notes that often place the entry in a historical context or provide additional background related to the text. Since I don't know very much about Goldwater (mea culpa), I found these notes just as informative as his own words. Some of the other tidbits I gleaned from this book:
Goldwater designed clothing - including "antsy pants" (page 6).
He sat in the Oval Office and gave President Nixon a tongue-lashing for being too isolated (pg 240).
He had a lifelong antipathy to Bill Moyers based on Moyers' aggressive tactics during the 1964 campaign (pg 141).
After retiring from politics, he spoke out publicly in favor of gay rights, endorsed a Democrat for an Arizona state congressional seat, and called on the media to be nicer to President Bill Clinton. An Arizona maverick, indeed.

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