A bombshell of a memoir from the Arizona Republican, who remains an articulate and righteous spokesman for the conservative cause. Goldwater (who turns 80 next year) minces few words in looking back on an honorable if often contentious political career that spanned over four decades. As a practical matter, his unsparing appraisals of contemporaries will probably grab the most attention. Cases in point include: LBJ (""the epitome of the unprincipled politician""); Richard Nixon (""the most dishonest individual I ever met""); and Robert McNamara (""one of the most unreliable and untrustworthy men in America""). Goldwater is equally hard on President Reagan (for his role in the Iran/contra affair), Robert Dole (for a lack of ""leadership qualities"") and many others, including the Moral Majority's ""checkbook clergy."" Conspicuous by his absence as a target for either praise or censure is Vice President Bush. In addition to judgment calls on public figures, Goldwater offers shrewd commentary on the noteworthy issues and events that marked his Washington tenure. For detailed discussion, he singles out subjects ranging from his own reluctant run for the White House in 1964 through Vietnam, Watergate, Big Government, the decline of the US Senate, intelligence agencies, agencies, and the continuing threat of world Communism. Surprisingly, Goldwater identifies the unheralded Defense Reorganization Act as his greatest contribution to the country; over time, he is convinced, the 1986 measure could reduce tuff battles among America's armed forces and produce a wealth of overdue military reforms. Save for a touching tribute to his wife, Peggy who died in 1985, Goldwater has comparatively little to say about either family or personal friends. Goldwater's last hurrah is just the ticket for readers seeking relief from the bland pronouncements of latter-day campaigners. The lively, thoughtful text has 16 pages of photographs (not seen).