Presents the former president's life, from his early years as an actor to his tenure as governor and president, and discusses his legacy as a litmus test for Republican values and party loyalty.
In an era of polarized politics, the image of President Ronald Reagan stands as a litmus test for party loyalty. To the conservative right, America's fortieth president is the Great Communicator, a venerated icon of independent spirit who restored national pride and power. To those on the left, he is an amiable dunce who distracted voters with anecdotes while dismantling the government to serve corporate interests. But as Michael Schaller reveals in his eye-opening biography, both extremes fall short of capturing the true essence of this captivating and contradictory man.
this succinct, eloquent narrative reveals the dramatic force of the man behind the image. Schaller provides a poignant account of Reagan's struggles and achievements, from his small-town upbringing in rural Illinois, the son of an itinerant alcoholic, to his cinematic success in Hollywood, entry into California politics, and meteoric rise to the White House, Following the path of his life, Schaller illuminates Reagan's appeal to Americans of all regions and backgrounds, highlights his momentous impact on American politics, and describes his determination, once in power to live up to his firm, long-established beliefs and ideals.
A fast-paced, compact narrative filled with fascinating and often surprising details, Ronald Reagan sheds light on Reagan's real accomplishments at home and abroad and what they mean for America today.
Oxford University Press
In this short biography, Michael Schaller, acclaimed historian of the American political right, offers readers a poignant account of Ronald Reagan's life and achievements, from his small-town upbringing in rural Illinois to his cinematic success in Hollywood, entry into politics as governor of California, and meteoric rise to the White House, where he served for eight years. The polarizing Great Communicator oversaw many developments that changed the face of American politics and life-the Iran-Contra Affair, the establishment of "Reaganomics," the largest military buildup in peacetime US history--and as such remains a figure about whom much is written and much has yet to be discovered. Schaller revisits each of these episodes during and leading up to the Reagan presidency, taking into account the latest scholarship and research. In doing so, he makes clear their significance at the time and in later years.
While most presidential biographies approach 1,000 pages, this succinct narrative comes in at just over 100 pages, continuing the tradition of excellence in brevity established by James McPherson's New York Times bestseller Abraham Lincoln and Alan Brinkley's recent short biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Schaller's biography of Ronald Reagan will be available in time to commemorate the centennial of Reagan's birth, an opportune time to reflect on the accomplishments of America's fortieth president.
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