Liberalism's Last Hurrah: The Presidential Campaign of 1964

Overview

This is the first historical account of the 1964 election and of a nation in transition. Featuring outsized personalities - Lyndon Johnson, Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Nixon, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Margaret Chase Smith, and a young Ronald Reagan - the book tells a thrilling story that captures the excitement, drama, and significance of "liberalism's last hurrah."
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Overview

This is the first historical account of the 1964 election and of a nation in transition. Featuring outsized personalities - Lyndon Johnson, Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Nixon, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Margaret Chase Smith, and a young Ronald Reagan - the book tells a thrilling story that captures the excitement, drama, and significance of "liberalism's last hurrah."
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The day after the 1964 presidential election, James Reston wrote, "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...." But the Johnson landslide, says historian Donaldson (Truman Defeats Dewey), was misleading. As he convincingly argues, the 1964 election marked the apex of liberalism, which would soon fatally overextend itself with the Great Society, and heralded the rise of conservative Republicans, who would commandeer their party and ultimately seize the White House. Donaldson recounts how Goldwater's conservatives pushed aside the long-dominant Wall Street moderates. This had immense ideological implications; suddenly, the Republicans offered a sharp contrast to the Democrats rather than a vapid "me-tooism" that tacitly accepted the New Deal. The 1964 election also marked a dramatic regional change in party constituencies. For the first time, the South-prompted largely by Johnson's Civil Rights Act-voted Republican. Goldwater (an Arizona senator) and his followers thus shifted the epicenter of the Republican party to the South and West. In essence, with his 1964 defeat, Goldwater was "a martyr to the cause," clearing the way for the far more successful Ronald Reagan. In the view of many conservatives, Donaldson writes, Goldwater was "Reagan's John the Baptist," crying in the wilderness and anticipating the savior to come. Donaldson touches on other elements of the 1964 race-civil rights, the role of George Wallace, Johnson's rivalry with Robert Kennedy-but Goldwater's conservatives pulse at the heart of this story, which offers a sharp and penetrating analysis of a movement on the cusp of power. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765611192
  • Publisher: Sharpe, M. E. Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Conservatives in the "Modern" World of Eisenhower, and the Rise of Goldwater 3
2 The Democrats Resurgent and the Rise of the Boston-Austin Axis 31
3 Goldwater Ambivalence and the Decision to Run 53
4 Early Republican Battlegrounds and the Rise of George Wallace 78
5 Lyndon Johnson and the Reins of Power 103
6 Conservatism Triumphant: Wallace and Goldwater in the Primary Season 128
7 Guillotine: The Jacobins Remove the Ancien Regime 164
8 LBJ's "Bobby Problem" and the Humphrey String-along 184
9 The King Is Dead. Long Live the King 201
10 Goldwater and Johnson in a Cause Predetermined 234
11 Home Stretch 266
12 Analysis 293
Appendix 309
Notes 313
Bibliography 359
Index 369
About the Author 377
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