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Posted November 17, 2009
A must for fans of the Gipper
Anyone interestered in the politics of our era should begin with this very
well researched study of the 1980 race. (Or better yet, start with the the 1976 race, "The Reagan Revolution")
Craig Shirley's comprehensive study of what we recall as a landslide is a
must for those who wish to review how populist conservatism was established, and how it can come again....
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Posted January 19, 2010
Rendevous with Destiny, Changing the face of Campaigns for the Presidency
An excellant read for those who wish to learn about the behind the scenes battles of presidential campaigns. What was a surprise in this excellant book was the closeness of the 1980 election between Carter an Regan as the media portrayed it. However, the election itself was a landslide in Regan's favor. The media was pro Carter and the American people it turned out were overwhelmingly pro-Regan. A change of leadership was warranted due to Jimmy Carter's mis-management of his office from a Public relations standpoint. The behind the scenes battles of the Carter-Regan campaigns were eye-opening. The one thing that stands out in this book is the viciousness of Jimmy Carter in his desire to be elected. The election was lost because of his absolute disbelief that he could be defeated. Regan may not have been the American Savior that he was portrayed, but, he did bring back dignity,and a positive feeling to the American people. Apparently in 1980 that was the difference. Of course the 1980 election and it's hardball tactics pale in comparsion to all Presidential elections since.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 20, 2009
Posted December 1, 2009
An extraordinary work
I've been a fan of campaign books since Theodore White invented the genre with "The Making of the President 1960." Shirley's "Rendezvous with Destiny" is every bit as good as White's classic -- perhaps better in its detail and comprehensiveness. We oldies will recall the election almost thirty years ago with nostalgia and a sense that it was all inevitable. But our generation's nostalgia isn't as important as is the understanding of what the Election of 1980 was all about among our children and their children.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Reagan ascendancy actually began almost 20-years earlier when Richard Nixon's loss to Jack Kennedy cleared a path for Arizona's Barry Goldwater to seek the Republican nomination. Goldwater kicked ass in the primaries but, of course, lost to Lyndon Johnson in the fall of 1964. The skills Conservatives honed in that losing fight were the nucleus of Reagan's triumphs in 1980 and 1984.
After Nixon's aborted Presidency and Jimmy Carter's Reign of Incompetence, America was eager to feel good about herself again and receptive to clear headed leadership. The man and the moment had met. Reagan, like most great leaders, felt the electorate's frustration and anger and was able to put them into words. More important, Reagan had the mystical vision to see what had to be done to put America back on course.
Shirley deals well with the "facts" that led to Reagan's election. More critically, he grasps the feelings of the times --the sheer EXCITEMENT so many of us felt-- and makes them accessible to those who have no memory of these long-ago events. This book is one for the ages. It will inform and delight 100 years hence.
Posted January 23, 2011
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