From the beginning of the chapter:
Thursday evening, July 16, 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater stepped to the podium at the Republican national convention in Cow Palace, San Francisco and accepted the nomination as his party's candidate for the upcoming presidential election. Finally, here was the day that conservatives had been looking forward to for decades. They had "taken back" the party, and in the process they had repudiated the common assumption that a presidential candidate could not win the Republican nomination without the support of the eastern establishment. They had stunned their liberal opponents with a well-organized coup d'etat. Now the time had come to abandon the pragmatic nature of the party system and instead create a division along ideological lines. The conservatives were ready to offer "a choice, not an echo".
The story of Barry Goldwater's candidacy in the presidential election of 1964 falls in three parts. The first part is the story of one of the most successful ventures in American political history, the "draft Goldwater movement" which ultimately won him the nomination. The second part is the story of why and how Goldwater got buried in a landslide election that paved the way for Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society". The third part of the story was added after the presidential election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. It tells of how conservatives amidst predictions of demise maintained their control of the GOP and continued the development of a political infrastructure which 16 years later would help Ronald Reagan to the White House. This idea of continuity from the Goldwater-campaign to the triumph of the New Right will be explored in the last chapter of this book. First, however, we must take a closer look at the conservative champion of the 1960s, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, and the changes within the American polity that made his nomination possible.