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Pure Goldwater

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  69 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Barry Goldwater was a defining figure in American public life, a firebrand politician associated with an optimistic brand of conservatism. In an era in which American conservatism has lost its way, his legacy is more important than ever. For over fifty years, in those moments when he was away from the political fray, Senator Goldwater kept a private journal, recording his ...more
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Published June 10th 2008 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jim Cullison
Nov 22, 2014 Jim Cullison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book does a great job of presenting the various facets of Goldwater's life, with one conspicuous exception...his bid for the presidency. The book also exposes the degeneration of Goldwater's sunny, amiable disposition into that of embittered crank. The further one proceeds into Barry's political career, the more anger and irritability one encounters in his disposition. It's probably a good thing that he didn't make it into the White House.

It's a fascinating, entertaining, and hilarious read.
All I knew about Barry Goldwater was that he was a conservative, hard-line Republican and that I could tease Steven about having been a Young Republican for Goldwater in '64 before he was old enough to vote. This book, a collection of Goldwater's journal entries, letters and speeches, gives a very thorough look at the man and his convictions. I have much more respect for his integrity and his political savvy now that I've read it.
Bob Miller
Jul 25, 2011 Bob Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This volume is an edited collection of journal entries, letters, and speeches spanning the years from pre-political businessman to retired senior statesman.

This is not great reading as Goldwater is an average writer (by admission) and the entries are unbalanced with an unfortunate and unavoidable, according to the editors, lack of entries covering his presidential campaign and a surfeit of material covering Nixon and Watergate (John Dean anyone).

I did come away with the following:

-Goldwater fail
Jun 09, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Prior to reading this book, I had known little if anything, about Barry Goldwater as a person. This book enables the reader to understand him and get know him on a personal level.

Pure Goldwater is a collection of journal entries, letters, personal writings, speeches, and articles that Barry wrote throughout his life. Because the majority of the text is written by Barry from his perspective, with the exception of text written from the authors to explain contextual information about where the wri

Joe Rodeck
Goldwater was a war-on-communism common sense conservative icon. Simple conservativism: Don't do again what's already been tried and has failed.

Interesting to get a hard right analysis of Kennedy and Cuba (Bay of Pigs & Missile Crisis). Worthwhile analysis of Vietnam and other military misadventures from a hawk's pov.

Most glaring omissions: civil rights movement [some embarrassment there?] and the LBJ years.

This book makes the damnable mistake of venturing into the morass of Watergate. A poi
Sep 11, 2008 Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very eye opening book of letters, notes and speeches from Barry Goldwater. I always thought of Goldwater in the terms of today's conservatives, but his ideas of conservatism have major differences from those who claim the banner today. The best parts of the books were his relationship with Nixon and the changes that took place during his presidency and the Watergate scandal and the his thoughts over the years of select topics that are still pertinent today. Althought not of fan of any political ...more
David R.
Dean and Goldwater Jr. put together what they hoped was an insightful collection of writings, typically from family letters and journals, by Senator Goldwater. The corpus is highly uneven: heavy on some of the Senate years prior to 1974, and very fragmentary thereafter. I think it was an error to use the 1980s and 1990s material as there are curious digressions from earlier Goldwater philosophy. Why did Goldwater turn on Doug Wead when he had plumped for Nixon for so long? What explains his alli ...more
Apr 13, 2015 SusanCope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book and a ringside seat to the American history of the 60's and 70's. I grew up in the 60's and was a strong Goldwater supporter when he ran for President of the US back in 1964.

This book is entirely in his own words, from Senator Goldwater's own journals, newspaper columns, and letters. Senator Goldwater served through the Vietnam War, Watergate, Roe vs Wade, and much more. When he was first elected to the Senate in 1952, Dwight Eisenhower was President. He retired in 1987, during the
Mar 28, 2010 Thom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book ties in with my current interest in American Presidents, from JFK forward. Lots of interesting details in this book, although a little dry in sections. It's basically culled from diary logs and letters. I didn't know Goldwater was Jewish; that he was friends with John F Kennedy; that he had good reason to lose respect for Richard Nixon and John McCain; that he loved the outdoors; that his first profession was running the family department store. What really sold me on him was that he e ...more
Call it "Pure BS" or "The Hypocrisy of a Conservative"

Goldwater can't admit he was wrong about the Vietnam War.

Even worse, he, as a typical Western libertarian conservative, can say things such as "sell the Tennessee Valley Authority" but yet, never call on the Bureau of Reclamation to privatize the dams and damned lakes on the Colorado.

So, why 4 stars?

Precisely because this book well shows his hypocrisy, and secondarily, because it shows that, while John Dean regularly criticized W, he's no l
J. Ewbank
This book by Dean and Goldwater Jr. is not an apology for Goldwater's political life. Instead, they took letters and speeches etc. of Goldwater's and presented them. I liked Barry Goldwater even though not always agreeing with him because I thought he was honest and giving us his honest opinion. This book bears that thought out. Interesting reading and I was especially happy with the good relationship between Barry and his wife, unlike so many politicians today.

J. Robert Ewbank author "Wesley's
Chris Dean
A collection of diary entries and speeches compiled by Goldwater's son and John Dean of Watergate infamy. I bought this book in 2012 at my local dollar store and noticed that it was released during the 2008 political campaign season. I wondered if it's release was designed to detract from the McCain campaign since there are portions dedicated to their relationship and falling out. I enjoyed reading Goldwater's reflections on Watergate as it was happening; it would have been nice to read somethin ...more
Josh Burns
Yeah, it was interesting, and the documents were almost all primary reading which was a nice change of pace from most history-and-political-thought books I've read. Some of them felt a little out of place, though, and some of them felt more like Goldwater Jr. was trying to justify his dad's politics to us. Dude: we don't need that. We're reading a book about Goldwater, so we probably agree with him--or not, in which case you won't convince us. Anyway, 4 stars.
Greg Powers
This paints a cool portrait of Barry Goldwater's life mostly from his own writings, journals, etc. I was a little disappointed that it didn't focus so much on the policies he advocated, I would have liked to get inside his head a little more when it came to his political philosophy. It is a great read for someone who wants to understand politics, politicians, and how the game is played.
Jay Wright
Mar 30, 2016 Jay Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of entries and letters from Goldwater himself. His insights are as true today as they were 1939 to 1998. It was especially revealing in his dealing with 4 Presidents, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. I was fascinated and learned much about the man and those he interacted with. It is hard to imagine the guts of a man who ran for President when he knew he would lose.
Apr 06, 2013 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read. It gave me a better appreciation for Barry Goldwater's life and background. He should be a role model for all government personnel - truthful, honest who does not play the politician's game.
Stu rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2012
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Jan 26, 2009
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Mar 29, 2010
Craig Bolton
Pure Goldwater by John W. Dean (2008)
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John W. Dean served as White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973. In this position, he became deeply involved in events leading up to the Watergate burglaries and the subsequent Watergate scandal cover-up. He was referred to as the "master manipulator of the cover-up" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He pleaded guilty to a single fel ...more
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