The former senator from Arizona writes that he is content to let others assess his 30-year career, although he's willing to admit accomplishing a thing or two as chairman of both the Senate Intelligence and the Armed Services committees. Of the former, he tells of repairing some of the damage to the CIA wrought by the 1975-76 Church Committee, and of the latter he claimsunconvincinglythat "the only god-damn thing I've done in the Senate that's worth a damn" was his part in the 1986 Defense Reorganization Act. Goldwater's charm and sense of humor are in evidence throughout this plain-talk autobiography, written with Casserly ( The Ford White House ), and so is his orneriness. Former defense secretary Robert McNamara comes in for a drubbing over his numbers-game approach to the Vietnam war, for instance, and the senator pulls no punches in his discussion of Richard Nixon's "long record of political treachery." Nor has he forgotten Bill Moyers's anti-Goldwater ads during the 1964 presidential campaign, calling them "the beginning of 'electronic dirt.' " The media, he grumbles, has since then become the fourth branch of government. Goldwater has little use for "the present crowd of glory hogs" in Congress, and proceeds to skewer many of them by name and particulars. Photos.