A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism

Synopsis

How did American conservatism, little more than a collection of loosely related beliefs in the late 1940s and early 1950s, become a coherent political and social force in the 1960s? What political strategies originating during the decade enabled the modern conservative movement to flourish? And how did mainstream and extremist conservatives, frequently at odds over tactics and ideology, each play a role in reshaping the Republican Party? In the 1960s conservatives did nothing less than engineer their own revolution. A Time for Choosing tells the remarkable story behind this transformation. Where previous accounts of conservatism's rise tend to speed from 1964 through the start of the Reagan era in 1980, A Time for Choosing explores in dramatic detail how conservatives took immediate action following the Goldwater debacle. William F. Buckley, Jr.'s 1965 bid for Mayor of New York City and Reagan's 1966 California governor's campaign helped turn the tide for electoral conservatism. By decade's end, independent "splinter groups" vied for the right to bear the conservative standard into the next decade, demonstrating the movement's strength and vitality. Although conservative ideology was not created during the 1960s, its political components were. Here, then, is the story of the rise of the modern conservative movement. Provocative and beautifully written, A Time for Choosing is a book for anyone interested in politics and history in the postwar era.