Rick Perlstein - Before the Storm

from the publisher:
Rick Perlstein's Before the Storm tells the story of the rise of the conservative movement in the liberal 1960's -- a story that, until this book, had never been told. The figure at the heart of the story is Barry Goldwater, the handsome renegade Republican from Arizona who loathed the federal government, despised liberals on sight, and mocked "peaceful coexistence" with the USSR. But Perlstein's narrative shines a light on a whole world of conservatives and their antagonists, including William F. Buckley, Nelson Rockefeller, and Bill Moyers. Vividly, thrillingly written, Before the Storm is already recognized as an essential book about the 1960s.

"One of the most stylish, riveting achievements in narrative history to appear in years." --Mark Greif, The Village Voice

"Perlstein is a gifted writer and a talented storyteller. His sweeping narrative amounts to nothing less than a social history of modern conservatism." --Steven M. Gillon, Chicago Tribune

"Combining prodigious research with journalistic flair, Rick Perlstein . . . has produced a detailed and dramatic narrative of the rise of the modern right . . . It's an amazing story, and Perlstein, a man of the left, does it justice." --William Kristol, The New York Times Book Review

"Before the Storm is smart and lively, and the description is delightfully thick . . . The point of Rick Perlstein's animated re-creation of the Goldwater campaign is that Barry Goldwater is as much a man of the 1960s as Abbie Hoffman or Malcolm X, and, what's more, his shadow looms a good deal larger than theirs." --Louis Menand, The New Yorker

"Writing with the authority of an academic historian and the dash of a journalist, Mr. Perlstein manages to break free of the partisan idées reçues and doctrinal laziness that typify so much writing on recent history. There is something independent, un-bought-out and, in the best sense, radical about this book." --Christopher Caldwell, The New York Observer

"Occasionally a book comes along which causes historians to rethink an entire era. Rick Perlstein's remarkable Before the Storm is such an achievement: elegantly written, copiously researched, brimming with fresh anecdotes. Perlstein illuminates how conservatism erupted into a mass political movement while the academic scholars and media pundits were embracing Great Society Liberalism and Counterculture Despair. A truly landmark study." --Douglas Brinkley, author of The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter's Journey Beyond the White House

"Anyone who has read Perlstein's wonderfully colorful account of the Goldwater nomination and his subsequent defeat in November 1964 will be sorry that the book stops there . . . Let us hope that Perlstein is already at work on another book about it all." --William A. Rusher, National Review

"Offer[s] much background on the remarkable fact of contemporary politics: most of our major political institutions . . . are today owned by the right, although, issue by issue, the causes of the right are unpopular . . . Perlstein has a nose for pungent detail. It is hard to imagine that he has missed any interesting or delicious fact about Goldwater or his circle of devotees." --Todd Gitlin, Boston Review

"Perlstein is such a great storyteller -- one of the most enjoyable historians I've ever read." --Robert Sherrill, The Nation

"One of the finest studies of the American right to appear since the days of Hofstadter. Read it and understand where the mad public faiths of our own day came from." --Thomas Frank, editor of The Baffler and author of One Market Under God

"Perlstein retells this story with energy and skill . . . His vibrant, detailed narrative moves swiftly and brings a large cast to life." --Sam Tanenhaus, The New Republic

"Comprehensive and compelling . . . The heart of Perlstein's lengthy book is his colorful account of the intellectual giants, the canny political operatives, and the far-out fellow travelers in the conservative cause." --Richard S. Dunham, Business Week

"Before the Storm is told dazzlingly. Perlstein re-creates the social and cultural milieu that gave rise to the conservative movement with earned authority and easy patience . . . Insightful, gracefully written, well-paced and sympathetic to its central characters' motivations." --Michael Tomasky, Newsday

"Perlstein's narrative . . . is never less than compelling, brilliantly researched and reported." --Sara Scribner and David Daley, The Hartford Courant

"Although conservative Republicans suffered a humiliating defeat in 1964, the principles they had embraced and the organization they had built endured, soon to bring them local, state and then national victories. Perlstein tells this story with energy and insight, and in lively prose." --Gary Gerstle, Dissent

"Finally, a gifted writer has told the full story of the difficult birth and exuberant adolescence of the conservative movement that went on to transform American politics. Rick Perlstein's indispensable history is stuffed with wit, learning, and drama. After reading it, you will never think of the 1960s in the same way again." --Michael Kazin, co-author of America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s

Rick Perlstein was born in 1969 and writes for The Nation, The New York Observer, The New York Times, and other publications. Before the Storm, his first book, was selected by The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post for their year-end "notable book" lists. Perlstein was named one of The Village Voice's Writers on the Verge in 2000 and has received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for independent scholars. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.