The Conscience of a Conservative
In 1960, Barry Goldwater set forth his brief manifesto in The Conscience of a Conservative. Written at the height of the Cold War and in the wake of America's greatest experiment with big government, the New Deal, Goldwater's message was not only remarkable, but radical. He argued for the value and importance of conservative principles--freedom, foremost among them--in con...more
The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of us don’t choose our political beliefs; we adopt our values and ideologies from our social milieu. Yes, many of us do attempt to justify our beliefs later in life, after our int ...more
This book does the job.
Senator Goldwater's prose is excellent and even inspiring at times. His primary thesis is that the expansion of individual freedom is the primary and only legitimate goal of government. The blueprint for the activities through which this ...more
He also pointed out that it is irresponsible to cut taxes before cutting spending.
"I believe that, as a practical matter, spending cuts must come before tax cuts. If we reduce taxes before firm, principled decisions are made about expendi ...more
I've heard a lot about Barry Goldwater, but had never taken the time to read much about him. During my study of the c ...more
I must confess that I was disappointed to find the book lacking (in my opinion) much of the substance required to offer a sense of "conscience" to traditional conservative political philosophy. I respect the work for its thorough and concise treatment of a variety of subjects central to contemporary conservative though ...more
After 12 years in San Francisco, I have found myself marginalized politically and reluctant to admit that I am a conservative. I'm amazed at how applicable Goldwaters thoughts from 1960 are to todays political discourse and find myself reinvigorated for debate and once again proud to admit my political vie ...more
"The Conservative looks upon politics as the art of acheiving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of the social order ... The practice of freedom requires the establishment of order.... But ... the political power on which order is based is a self-aggrandizing force; that its appetite grows with eating. [The Conservative] knows that the utmost vigilan ...more
Full of ideas that I think range from crazy to mind boiling? Yes.
Even if you disagree with everything Goldwater stood for, it's still arguably one of the more important books about the United States and US Politics.
Goldwater writes in a conversational tone (almost too conversational at times). His use of anecdotes as the primary means to support the principles of conservatism turns the text into a Republican infomercial, so while often gripping, its lacking supporting data.
Goldwater was Senator for Arizona from 1953–65 & 1969–87.
In 1964 he ran for president for the Republican party, his campaign was based on states rights, fiscal conservatism and militant anti-communism.
Goldwater is the politician most often credited for sparking the resurgence of the American conservative politic ...more