The Age of Reagan brings to life the tumultuous decade and a half that preceded Ronald Reagan’s ascent to the White House. Drawing on scores of interviews and years of research, Steven F. Hayward takes us on an engrossing journey through the most politically divisive years the United States has had to endure since the decade before the Civil War.
Hayward captures an America at war with itself—and an era whose reverberations we feel to this very day. He brings new insight into the profound failure of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the oddly liberal nature of Richard Nixon’s administration, the significance of Reagan’s years as California’s governor, the sudden-death drama of his near defeat of Gerald Ford in the 1976 Republican primary, the listlessness of Jimmy Carter’s leadership, and the political earthquake that was Reagan’s victorious presidential campaign in 1980.
Provocative, authoritative, and majestic in scope, The Age of Reagan is an unforgettable account of the rebirth and triumph of the American spirit.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order|
|Release Date: 06-09-2009|
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|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order
ONE OF MY TEACHERS in graduate school insisted that “a history must serve its readers with explanations that suit the horizons of their curiosity and with writing that entertains and stirs them.” Heeding this admonition led me to the unusual style of this book, which requires an explanation.
This book is one part biography, one part narrative chronicle, and one part political analysis—an amalgam that does not easily fit into a recognized nonfiction genre. It attempts to explain how and, more importantly, why Ronald Reagan became president in 1980. A capacious narrative seemed the best style to convey this broad theme. Winston Churchill noted the necessity of capturing the wider context of a person in his four-volume account of his ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough: “In a portrait or impression the human figure is best shown by its true relation to the objects and scenes against which it is thrown, and by which it is defined.”
The decade-and-a-half preceding Reagan’s ascent to the White House was arguably the most politically tumultuous for the nation since the decade before the Civil War. The events shaping the political climate of the country seemed to be larger than the personalities who tried to master them. To the extent that Reagan came to express the soul of America, it is necessary to understand the trials of that soul. Reagan, to borrow a metaphor from his first career, was only occasionally at center stage during these years, which is why he enters and leaves this narrative like a
Frederick Maitland wrote that the essential matter of history is not what happened but what men and women thought and said about it. T...