Reagan and American Mood

Amid the claims and counterclaims regarding Ronald Reagan’s 1980 electoral victory, one clarifying contradiction emerges. Yes, Reagan exaggerated, alleging a mandate for his Reagan Revolution which never existed. Yet, when Reagan implemented a more muscular, more flamboyantly patriotic, up-with-America, down-with-the-Communists foreign policy, he was doing what the American people hired him to do. Ronald Reagan […]

Teaching about Ronald Reagan by Confronting Contradictions

As we approach the thirtieth anniversary of his inauguration and the twenty-second anniversary of his exit from the White House, Ronald Reagan has attained an iconic status, beloved by the political right and often vilified by the political left. Because Reagan retreated from the public eye before most incoming freshman were born, he is a […]

Ronald Reagan, the Election of 1980, and Foreign Affairs: What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

“I had an agenda I wanted to get done,” Ronald Reagan explained after the end of his presidency. “I came with a script.” Thirty years ago, after trouncing Jimmy Carter in the election of 1980, Reagan brought that script to the White House. Its main elements are now familiar. Reagan wanted to diminish the power […]