Joe Bliven

The Conscience of a Conservative
By Barry M. Goldwater

May 1st, 2019

Barry Goldwater wrote a book here that outlines many of the guiding principles of American conservatism in the mid twentieth century, many of which still apply today. It serves as a pretty good introduction to what conservatives goals are, what they believe, and why. Some of the arguments and cases made in this book regarding subjects where we disagree I can often see his arguments as reasonable and simply differing in perspective from mine. How refreshing in contrast with modern conservative writing! This was an era before fox news when our best selling right wing political books weren't written by Ann Coulters and Ben Shapiros. Often however Goldwater's generalities contradict one another, and often within the same page or paragraph. Often he fails to provide reasoning for a certain point and simply resigns to "it's clear", "it's obvious", "it just is" type assertions. Overall this was a well written and thorough examination of his Nation and political party at the time. Something that caught me off guard was that the last section of the book ended up being of the most interest, a section that didn't give too much direct perspective to the modern political ideologies of our country. It was a section titled "The Soviet Menace". This first hand account from a member of the U.S. government coping with the scourge of the Soviet Union and their allies. I found this section really neat in a sort of morbid way. It's hard for those of us born after the Cold War to really imagine the fear and sense of imminent (potentially world ending) threat these power dynamics played. I say if you have the opportunity give this one a read, it's short and offers an interesting perspective.