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In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts

Thomas Sugrue: Barry Goldwater, 3 January 2008

The Conscience of a Conservative 
by Barry Goldwater.
Princeton, 144 pp., £8.95, June 2007, 978 0 691 13117 7
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... role in eliminating Jim Crow. All of them pegged their hopes on the Arizona Republican senator Barry Goldwater. ‘Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice,’ Goldwater thundered at the 1964 Republican National Convention, as he accepted his party’s nomination for the presidency. ‘Moderation in the ...

The God Squad

Andrew O’Hagan: Bushland, 23 September 2004

... November 4th vote for peace. Vote for Eisenhower. SECOND ANNOUNCER: A paid film. In 1964, the Goldwater campaign was using Raymond Massey to front a television ambush of Johnson’s record: We are fighting a no-win war in Vietnam, a war we don’t want to win. Well, as an American I don’t like it. I don’t like our policy and I don’t like no-win ...

Mouse Mouth Mitt

Eliot Weinberger, 13 September 2012

... nearly half the population of the country he so frequently professes to love. (The less ambitious Barry Goldwater only wanted to ‘saw off the eastern seaboard and let it float out to sea’.) There are 47 per cent of the people … who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to ...

History’s Revenges

Peter Clarke, 5 March 1981

The Illustrated Dictionary of British History 
edited by Arthur Marwick.
Thames and Hudson, 319 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 500 25072 3
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Who’s Who in Modern History, 1860-1980 
by Alan Palmer.
Weidenfeld, 332 pp., £8.50, October 1980, 0 297 77642 8
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... from obscurity, though one or two hitherto neglected facts emerge. Before he ran for office, Barry Goldwater ran a business ‘which marketed a brand of men’s underwear known as “Antsy Pants” ’. Death under notorious circumstances is sometimes dwelt upon, as with Aldo Moro or Jan Masaryk: but others simply fade away, like Nelson ...

Those bastards, we’ve got to cut them back

Daniel S. Greenberg: Bush’s Scientists, 22 September 2005

The Republican War on Science 
by Chris Mooney.
Basic Books, 288 pp., £14.99, October 2005, 0 465 04675 4
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... politics, but that was long ago, and few remember. In 1964, the Republican presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater, grabbed the attention of scientists by vowing to lob a missile into the men’s room of the Kremlin if the Soviets misbehaved. Goldwater, a major-general in the air force reserve, aroused widespread ...

Big Stick Swagger

Colin Kidd: Republican Conspiracism, 6 January 2022

A Conspiratorial Life: Robert Welch, the John Birch Society and the Revolution of American Conservatism 
by Edward H. Miller.
Chicago, 456 pp., £24, January, 978 0 226 44886 2
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... the many stages of the American right’s ‘theme park journey’: the careers of Joe McCarthy, Barry Goldwater and George Wallace; the conversion of blue-collar ethnic Catholics in the North and white supremacists in the South to a new model of Republicanism; the politicisation of evangelical Protestantism, especially its millenarian variants; the ...

Be Dull, Mr President

Kim Phillips-Fein: Remembering Reagan, 19 October 2006

President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination 
by Richard Reeves.
Simon and Schuster, 571 pp., £20, March 2006, 0 7432 3022 1
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... limits on the market would one day lead to totalitarianism. In 1964, in the speech he made for Barry Goldwater’s ill-fated presidential candidacy, a speech which launched his own political career, he quoted the 19th-century economist John McCulloch: ‘The moment you abandon the cardinal principle of exacting from all individuals the same proportion ...

Short Cuts

Mattathias Schwartz: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness, 16 July 2020

... the first place. Bolton, an unreconstructed Cold Warrior, once canvassed for the arch-conservative Barry Goldwater and interned in the Nixon White House. He made his career talking up threats from Iran, North Korea and Venezuela to fill the void left by the Soviet Union. He has consistently urged US policymakers to take the hardest possible line, up to ...

Who Will Lose?

David Edgar, 25 September 2008

Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future 
by Newton Minow and Craig LaMay.
Chicago, 219 pp., £11.50, April 2008, 978 0 226 53041 3
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... debate tour to his friend and likely opponent in 1964, the ultra-conservative Arizona senator Barry Goldwater. In the event, Lyndon Johnson was not inclined to risk what promised (and turned out) to be a landslide victory over Goldwater, and turned his debate challenge down. Not surprisingly, Nixon rejected calls ...

The scandal that never was

Paul Foot, 24 July 1986

Shootdown: The Verdict on KAL 007 
by R.W. Johnson.
Chatto, 335 pp., £10.95, May 1986, 0 7011 2983 2
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... clandestine’. They were fascinated by covert operations, code-names, disguises, stunts. Senator Barry Goldwater, the wild man of the American Right in the Sixties, summed them up: ‘Some of the conservatives are crazy as hell.’ Even crazier were the hell-raisers of the KCIA, the mirror of the CIA in South Korea. In that country, of course, no one ...

President Gore

Inigo Thomas: Gore Vidal, 10 May 2007

Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir, 1964-2006 
by Gore Vidal.
Little, Brown, 278 pp., £17.99, November 2006, 0 316 02727 8
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... who write knowledgeably about politics tend to make certain fundamental errors,’ he wrote in ‘Barry Goldwater: A Chat’, an essay published in the early 1960s. ‘They look for subtle motives where there are none. They believe there is a long-range plan of war when there is seldom anything more than quick last-minute deployments of troops before ...

Hope in the Desert

Eric Foner: Democratic Party Blues, 12 May 2022

What It Took to Win: A History of the Democratic Party 
by Michael Kazin.
Farrar, Straus, 396 pp., $35, March, 978 0 374 20023 7
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... of Lincoln to the Democrats, a transition completed in 1964 when the Republicans nominated Senator Barry Goldwater, who had voted against that year’s landmark Civil Rights Act, as their presidential candidate. Since then, Blacks have been the Democratic Party’s most loyal supporters. As Kazin points out, a new Democratic coalition came into ...

Blackberry Apocalypse

Nicholas Guyatt: Evangelical Disarray, 15 November 2007

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America 
by Chris Hedges.
Cape, 254 pp., £12.99, February 2007, 978 0 224 07820 7
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... out in the Sunbelt states of the Southwest and found expression in tough-minded Cold Warriors like Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon. With his strongly libertarian streak, Goldwater turned out to be a poor fit for the religious sensibility of the new movement and in the 1980s he delivered from the floor of the Senate ...

In Praise of Middle Government

Ian Gilmour, 12 July 1990

Liberalisms. Essays in Political Philosophy 
by John Gray.
Routledge, 273 pp., £35, August 1989, 0 415 00744 5
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The Voice of Liberal Learning: Michael Oakeshott on Education 
edited by Timothy Fuller.
Yale, 169 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04344 9
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The Political Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott 
by Paul Franco.
Yale, 277 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04686 3
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by Ted Honderich.
Hamish Hamilton, 255 pp., £16.99, June 1990, 0 241 12999 0
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... all of them had a fundamental principle in their politics, does Honderich seriously believe that Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan had the same one as, say, Rab Butler and Iain Macleod? The political tradition that Honderich is attacking does not exist. The Conservative and Republican traditions are different. There are at least two traditions, and ...

Feeling Right

Will Woodward: The Iowa Straw Poll, 16 September 1999

... the wind was blowing.’ Bauer tells how as a child in 1964 he watched a Reagan speech endorsing Barry Goldwater, and told his father that one day Reagan would be in the White House and he would be working for him. The story serves several purposes: it’s a nod to the last Republican President to win two terms, a reminder of the day when headbanging ...

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