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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - Study Guide "Barry Goldwater: a Chat" (1961) Summary & Analysis

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Barry Goldwater, then-junior senator from Arizona ("a politically unimportant state"), is revealed as a shrewd, down-to-earth politician capable of growth and change in this interview with Vidal, originally published in Life magazine. Goldwater's success is "phenomenal" as a second-term senator with no significant legislation to his name, and by his own admission "he is not a profound thinker," according to Vidal. Goldwater was primarily a salesman in the family business, Goldwater's department store, before entering politics.

Goldwater tells Vidal he's not opposed to school integration but is opposed to federal interference with the rights of southern states to maintain segregation. This leads Vidal to retort by quoting a Tennessee politician that Goldwater has as much chance of getting the black vote as "a legless man in an ass-kicking...

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This section contains 295 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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