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The Agony of the G.O.P. 1964

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Written in the New York Times, by James Reston, on November 4, 1964. "Barry Goldwater not only lost the Presidential election yesterday but the conservative cause as well. He has wrecked his party for a long time to come and is not even likely to control the wreckage." It was considered one of the worst defeats ever suffered by a major-Republican candidate. How did this nom Written in the New York Times, by James Reston, on November 4, 1964. "Barry Goldwater not only lost the Presidential election yesterday but the conservative cause as well. He has wrecked his party for a long time to come and is not even likely to control the wreckage." It was considered one of the worst defeats ever suffered by a major-Republican candidate. How did this nomination - one that violated every precept of American politics - come about? And will the damage it has caused - damage threatening the very existence of the two-party system - prove irreparable? These are the questions this book examines...


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Written in the New York Times, by James Reston, on November 4, 1964. "Barry Goldwater not only lost the Presidential election yesterday but the conservative cause as well. He has wrecked his party for a long time to come and is not even likely to control the wreckage." It was considered one of the worst defeats ever suffered by a major-Republican candidate. How did this nom Written in the New York Times, by James Reston, on November 4, 1964. "Barry Goldwater not only lost the Presidential election yesterday but the conservative cause as well. He has wrecked his party for a long time to come and is not even likely to control the wreckage." It was considered one of the worst defeats ever suffered by a major-Republican candidate. How did this nomination - one that violated every precept of American politics - come about? And will the damage it has caused - damage threatening the very existence of the two-party system - prove irreparable? These are the questions this book examines...

15 review for The Agony of the G.O.P. 1964

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alonzo Church

    Because we in 2018 are struggling with the question “how on earth did Donald Trump happen?”, I picked up this book which attempts to answer a similar (though less consequential) question — how did Barry Goldwater, considered unacceptably right wing in 1964, get nominated by the GOP? I’m glad I made the effort. This well reported effort, doesn’t answer the Trump question, but gives a few hints, and reminds us that the GOP in the early 60s was an angry, disaffected party, very angry at its own lead Because we in 2018 are struggling with the question “how on earth did Donald Trump happen?”, I picked up this book which attempts to answer a similar (though less consequential) question — how did Barry Goldwater, considered unacceptably right wing in 1964, get nominated by the GOP? I’m glad I made the effort. This well reported effort, doesn’t answer the Trump question, but gives a few hints, and reminds us that the GOP in the early 60s was an angry, disaffected party, very angry at its own leadership. I would commend two chapters in particular — one in which a bunch of Goldwaterites take over a Young Republicans convention through tactics that feel so much like a live, in person version of the trolling and complaining that Trumpsters used while taking over the 2016 GOP. And a second chapter which talks of the shift of the GOP to a strategy including opposition to the Civil Rights Act. The author goes through GOP history to remind folks that segregation was generally a-ok with the gop from the Civil War forward. Much of the rest of the book is inside baseball and horse race reporting, and much of that gets tedious. And there are occasional lapses — a sexist depiction of a political wife here, an inadequate explanation of why the JFK assassination had an influence on the GOP race. But generally, this 500 page opus does a good job of explaining why the GOP did what it did in 1964. If you are interested in things like that, this is worth the read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Hermes

  3. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey Kabaservice

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gwen Ashbrook

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Saunders

  6. 4 out of 5

    Howard

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donald Forster

  9. 5 out of 5

    Faustin J Christopher

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia May

  11. 4 out of 5

    Witchwood

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ross

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jake Tobber

  14. 4 out of 5

    Max

  15. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

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