Janice’s Review Blog

“Pure Goldwater” reveals Barry Goldwater through his own words

Posted on: March 6, 2009

"Pure Goldwater" by John W. Dean and Barry M. Goldwater, Jr.

"Pure Goldwater" by John W. Dean and Barry M. Goldwater, Jr.

In “Pure Goldwater”, John W. Dean, former Nixon White House counsel and author, and Barry Goldwater, Jr., son of Barry Goldwater and retired Calif. congressman, compile the journals, letters, interviews and personal papers of Barry Goldwater

Goldwater journals record details of his personal life, his military life and the life he lived while in politics.  In his commentary of July 30, 1939, he writes, “Tonight I am camped within view of the San Francisco Peaks…  The road I am near hasn’t offered but one car all day so the night should be quiet.”  To imagine that part of Arizona with so little traffic is hard to comprehend.  Goldwater made use of his photographic skills as he travelled through these areas of Arizona snapping photos of the Grand Canyon, Church Rock and the Hopi and Navajo residents.

Bronze medallion at Barry Goldwater Memorial commemorates first ocean solo flight

Bronze medallion at Barry Goldwater Memorial commemorates first ocean solo flight

During his thirty-seven year military career, Goldwater documents his exploits in his journal and in letters sent to his children.  One of the first 10 pilots to ferry a P-47 across the North Atlantic, Goldwater writes of the rigors and details of putting his plane, the Peggy G, through tests to get ready for the long flight.

In 1949, Goldwater ran for Phoenix City Council.  He wrote his brother Bob, “I couldn’t criticize the government of this city if I myself refused to help.” 

Bronze medallion at Barry Goldwater Memorial commemorates senatorial achievements

Bronze medallion at Barry Goldwater Memorial commemorates senatorial achievements

His journals follow his years in the senate, his 1964 run for the presidency and his final years as a senator.  After his defeat for the presidency in 1964, Goldwater spent time with his wife Peggy travelling the world, but he also filed a lawsuit against Ralph Ginzburg and his FACT publication for libelous attacks made on Goldwater during the 1964 presidential race.

Goldwater also maintained a ham radio station at his home.  During the Vietnam war, he patched over 200,000 phone calls from servicemen in Vietnam through to their families in the U.S.

Goldwater statue created by Cowboy Artist of America Joe Beeler

Goldwater statue created by Cowboy Artist of America Joe Beeler

Other journal entries and letters record the Nixon years and Watergate.  He also writes his opinions on American Foreign Policy and Domestic Issues.  The book gives readers a rare opportunity to experience the workings of Goldwater’s mind.

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