Conscience of A Conservative
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Conscience of A Conservative
The Conscience of a Conservative
The Conscience of a Conservative (1960), by Barry Goldwater.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author Barry Goldwater (nominal)
Subject Politics, American conservatism
Publisher Victor Publishing Co. [name used by Frank E. Simon, manager of the real publisher, viz., Publishers Printing Company, Shepardsville, Ky]
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 123
OCLC 1002492

The Conscience of a Conservative is a 1960 book published under the name of Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. It reignited the American conservative movement, made Goldwater a political star, and has influenced countless conservatives in the United States, helping to lay the foundation for the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s.[1]

The book was ghostwritten by L. Brent Bozell Jr., brother-in-law of William F. Buckley Jr..[1] Bozell and Buckley had been members of Yale's debate team. They had co-authored the controversial book, McCarthy and His Enemies, in 1955. Bozell had been Goldwater's speechwriter in the 1950s, and was familiar with many of his ideals.


The 123-page book covers such topics as education, labor unions and policies, civil rights, agricultural policy and farm subsidies, social welfare programs, and income taxation. The book is considered to be a significant statement of politically and economically American conservative ideas which were to gain influence during the following decades.[1]

Namesake books

The book, and its pithy title, continue to inspire contemporary political commentary.

  • In 2007, Paul Krugman entitled his own book The Conscience of a Liberal, saying in the introduction that he wanted his work to stand as a counterpoint to Goldwater's.[2]
  • Zell Miller (2003), A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat
  • Wayne Allyn Root (2009), The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts.
  • Gary Chartier (2011), The Conscience of an Anarchist: Why It's Time to Say Good-Bye to the State and Build a Free Society
  • Jeff Flake (2017), Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle

Later editions

A half-century edition, edited by C.C. Goldwater (his granddaughter), with a foreword by George Will, and an afterword by Robert F. Kennedy Jr, was published by the Princeton University Press in 2007.


  1. ^ a b c Frohnen, Bruce (2006). American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute. pp. 179-80. ISBN 1-932236-43-0. 
  2. ^ Krugman, Paul (2007). The Conscience of a Liberal. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN 0-393-06069-1. 


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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