Why the Right Went Wrong Conservatism— From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond by E.J. Dionne Jr. Instaread summary
Four out of five stars
While this summary is well written and organized, it also makes it clear that there is little that is new in the book by Dionne. The only point of potential historical dispute is when Dionne states that the modern conservative movement began with the presidential candidacy of Barry Goldwater in 1964. Although you must acknowledge that Dionne must begin somewhere, the conservative movement is much older than that, witness the presidential candidacy of Strom Thurmond in the 1940’s. The primary difference was that before Goldwater and the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s, the hard conservatives were in the Democratic party in the south.
From that point, all is historically accurate, from the strong conservative rhetoric of Ronald Reagan and both Bush presidents that was largely ignored when they were forced to govern to Bill Clinton’s triangulation tactics.
When reading this summary, it became clear that people that have been following politics well will find little, if anything new in the book. For others with an interest in how this point in our political history was reached, this summary will convince them that it is a valuable book to read.
This book was made available for free for review purposes