Review by Library Journal Review
Conservatism emerging as a political force to be reckoned with very well may be the most enduring counterculture movement of the Sixties. Schoenwald (humanities, Stanford) offers a thoroughly researched investigation of the love/hate relationship between mainstream Republican conservatism and extremist, rabid anti-Communist factions like the John Birch Society and how they merged in 1964 to nominate the conservative Arizona senator Barry Goldwater as the Republican Presidential candidate. While Goldwater proved to be the wrong man at the wrong time, Schoenwald demonstrates that Ronald Reagan was the right man at the right time just two years later when he was "surprisingly" elected governor of California. The conservative movement surpassed liberalism as the politics of choice for voters when its leaders and grass-roots workers discovered the limits of ideology, the importance of organization, and the necessity of getting out the vote. Although not as entertaining as Rick Perlstein's Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (LJ 2/15/01), Schoenwald's is an excellent account of the spread of conservatism from 1957 to 1972. His study is especially strong in revealing the internal workings of the many splinter groups that the movement comprised during its formative years. Strongly recommended for larger public and academic collections. Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.