Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Amazon 1 - Kevin Drum 0

Skim-read another 4-5 chapters of before the storm - chose the ones that looked most interesting. Overall a decent read, but the reviews below from Amazon are quite accurate, the book meanders all over the place, and the subtitle (should there be a moratorium on them now?) doesn't make a dang bit of sense - what consensus?

Was hoping for a better understanding of how the GOP eventually became the dominant party, but this is not the book. A bit more tempted now to check out the Volokh Conspiracy recommendations, or rather Todd Zywicki's recommendations in yesterday's VC to answer: how did the GOP go from a very minor congressional party both in 1964 and post-Watergate to being firmly entrenched in the House? The major GOP players from the 60's: Nixon, Goldwater, and Reagan were all from out west, so why is the southern wing so dominant now?

Perlstein has obviously drunk deep at the David Halberstam well. He can rattle off an anecdote, but he is dreadfully prolix. The book is at least two hundred pages too long. ...Perlstein has also made a mess in organizing his material; he leaps back and forth, from person to person, without ever stitching the requisite parts together....A more thorough editor and an author more intent on telling the story carefully and well would have made 'Before the Storm' a much better book than it is. Ed Hawkins

There isn't even a conclusion; the book disappointingly and abruptly ends in midstream immediately after LBJ's landslide. Thus, the title and subtitle are misleading. What is the "storm"--the consequent rise of conservatism and the triumph of Reagan in 1980? We're never told. And how did Barry Goldwater unmake the American consensus? thucydides20

Ginger-haired yank just gave me my 2-minute
warning, so time to post & double check links.

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