Friday, April 08, 2005
This book came out in pre-9/11 2001 and enjoyed a resurgence on a lot of liberal blogs this past Winter. It's easy to see why, although a direct connection is more emotional than factual:
- The Republicans tanked in the 1964 presidential election, the Democrats tanked in the 2004 presidential election. Except that the Democrats in 2004 got, what, 48% of the vote and the 1964 Republicans got 36%.
- Goldwater was an outspoken loose canon of a guy who galvanized a grassroots movement of disaffected conservatives, and the disaffected liberals of the past couple of years rallied in a grassroots movement behind Howard Dean. Except Dean wasn't the nominee, but he might as well have been the Democratic nominee because the Democrats lost anyway.
- Goldwater wasn't as extreme as some of the people who supported him, even though he extolled extremism in his speeches, and Dean was far more centrist than his supporters, except once again, Dean wasn't the nominee.
- Hey, they rose from the ashes to take over the country with Ronald Reagan, so maybe we can rise from the ashes, etc. etc.
Whatever. But as a piece of history that reads almost like a novel, it's a great book. And as somebody who believes that seeing where you've been is an important part of knowing where you're going, I'm placing it in my pantheon. Except I have to return it to the library.
The Brothers Judd has a page of links to sites that reference the book, and to all things Goldwater.