The Age Of Reagan, 1964-1980: The Fall Of The Old Liberal Order

The Age Of Reagan, 1964-1980: The Fall Of The Old Liberal Order

by Steven F. Hayward
     
 

The Age of Reagan brings to life the tumultuous decade and a half that preceded Ronald Reagan's ascent to the White House. Based 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. Overseas, we…  See more details below

Overview

The Age of Reagan brings to life the tumultuous decade and a half that preceded Ronald Reagan's ascent to the White House. Based 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. Overseas, we were embroiled in a war we couldn't win; at home our streets had become battlefields; and in Washington, the old liberal order was collapsing under the weight of a long string of failed policies. "It seemed that an era of American optimism and progress had come to a close," Hayward writes. "The concatenation of Vietnam, Watergate, the recurrent energy crisis, the swooning economy, the increasingly disorderly world scene, and the failed presidencies associated with these events robbed Americans of their native optimism for the future."
Meanwhile, from out of the West arose a new conservative movement led by Ronald Reagan, a one-time Hollywood actor whose speech in 1964 in support of the doomed candidacy of Barry Goldwater not only electrified a national television audience but also created a political star who would change the course of history.
With meticulous detail, 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, and 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hayward offers his examination, from an unabashedly conservative perspective, of American history from 1964 through the 1980 inauguration of Ronald Reagan as president, in the first part of a two-volume account. Senior fellow at the conservative Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, he argues that liberalism reached its peak in 1964, and that the hollowness of liberal thought, played out in the flawed presidencies of Nixon, Ford and Carter, creating a political atmosphere that allowed Reagan to preside over a fundamental change in the direction of American government. In Hayward's Manichean universe, opposite the rightness of Reagan's conservatism is the wrongness of all things liberal. Labeled with the "l word," among many others, are the war on poverty, feminism, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, d?tente, New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, the movie Dr. Strangelove and the "chattering class" of intellectuals. Hayward forwards many provocative opinions, among them that the Vietnam War was a success, delaying the fall of Saigon long enough to convince Communists that Southeast Asia could not be easily won; Hayward also believes that Watergate was an ideological dispute over whether the executive branch or Congress would have supremacy. The author assembles a wide variety of facts; unfortunately, he often includes them indiscriminately and tediously, as in his minute-by-minute description of the 1976 presidential primary. In the end, this is an ultraconservative polemic masquerading as history. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761513377
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/2001
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
848
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.25(h) x 2.31(d)

Meet the Author

Steven F. Hayward is a senior fellow of the Pacific Research Institute, a public policy think-tank based in San Francisco, and a contributing editor for Reason magazine. He holds a doctorate in history from the Claremont Graduate School.

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