GOLDWATER, BARRY. (1909-1998). American politician known as “Mr. Conservative.” TLS. (“Barry”). 2/3p. 4to. Washington, August 11, 1980. Written on his U.S. Senate letterhead to his colleague DANIEL PATRICK “PAT” MOYNIHAN (1927-2003).

“Coming out on the airplane from Washington I had the great pleasure of reading your book. It is as you’ve always been able to do, an outstanding work of English and thought.

I hope we can save our country, Pat; there are a lot of things wrong with it, things that seem rather simple to correct, but I am beginning to be afraid that an attempt to correct some of the errors and continuing mistakes can bring on all heck in our country.

In other words, I don’t think our people are aware of what we are into, where we are or headed. I pray I’m wrong, but thanks for that good book…”

A friend of Herbert Hoover and opponent of New Deal liberalism, Goldwater represented his state of Arizona in the Senate for five terms beginning in 1952. In 1964, he made an unsuccessful bid for the White House, losing to Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson in a landslide. The campaign featured the now-iconic “Daisy” television ad, which linked Goldwater with the specter of nuclear annihilation. Returning to the Senate, Goldwater exerted his influence over military affairs as a member and, later, chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services and Intelligence committees.

Despite being a Democrat, Moynihan was selected at the beginning of Republican Richard Nixon’s first term to be his counselor on urban affairs. A former assistant secretary of labor under Kennedy and Johnson and director of the Harvard–MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies, Moynihan was selected, in part, because of his academic background studying social policy. In 1973, Nixon appointed Moynihan to serve as the U.S. ambassador to India. Moynihan went on to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and a longtime U.S. Senator representing New York from 1977 to 2001.

Over the course of his long career, Moynihan penned 19 books, leading his friend, columnist George F. Will, to quip that Moynihan “wrote more books than most senators have read.” Our letter refers to his 1980 book Counting Our Blessings: Reflections on the Future of America.

Folded with printed docket numbers in the top and left margins. A date stamp on the verso shows through in the upper margin. Some minor creasing and a small piece of paper has been trimmed from the lower left corner. [indexhistory] [indexJudaica]

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