Read a Book!: The Conscience of a Conservative

March 11, 2009


The Conscience of a Conservative

by Sen. Barry Goldwater

I’ve already started on my next book and I forgot to post a review of this one. This is the second book by Mr. Goldwater that I have review (the first one is here).

My copy is from Princeton Printing. It was edited by Goldwater’s granddaughter and features a decent foreward by George Will and a horrendous afterword by Robert Kennedy Jr. (really, using a reprinting of Goldwater’s book to rail against social conservatives? You think that was appropriate? Goldwater represented the libertarian wing of the party though and though. Whatever animosity Goldwater had with social conservatives should not be used as a “wedge” when we agree with him on the things he cared for: lower taxes, limited constitutional government with less spending instead of this big government garbage we got, strong national defense, localized education, et cetera.).

Unlike the later Where I Stand, this book is not just reprints of speeches the good Senator gave; this book actually reads like a political theory treatise. It was better edited (one Mr. L Brent Bozell, a conservative writer,  did most of the editing) and gives the book a better polish.

The content, on the other hand, is pretty much the same. Sure, Goldwater had 8 years of liberal rule to draw examples from in Where I Stand that he did not have in this book, but Goldwater was a principled man with a consistent world view, a political philosopher if you will (though I doubt he would like that title).

There is a reason why this is considered a classic defense of conservativism; read this book!

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