The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008
  • The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008
  • The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008

The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008

3.5 4
by Sean Wilentz
     
 

ISBN-10: 0060744804

ISBN-13: 9780060744809

Pub. Date: 05/06/2008

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

One of the nation's leading historians offers a groundbreaking and provocative chronicle of America's political history since the fall of Nixon.

The past thirty-five years have marked an era of conservatism. Although briefly interrupted in the late 1970s and temporarily reversed in the 1990s, a powerful surge from the right

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Overview

One of the nation's leading historians offers a groundbreaking and provocative chronicle of America's political history since the fall of Nixon.

The past thirty-five years have marked an era of conservatism. Although briefly interrupted in the late 1970s and temporarily reversed in the 1990s, a powerful surge from the right has dominated American politics and government. In The Age of Reagan, Sean Wilentz accounts for how a conservative movement once deemed marginal managed to seize power and hold it, and the momentous consequences that followed.

Ronald Reagan has been the single most important political figure of this age. Without Reagan, the conservative movement would have never been as successful as it was. In his political persona as well as his policies, Reagan embodied a new fusion of deeply right-leaning politics with some of the rhetoric and even a bit of the spirit of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and John F. Kennedy's New Frontier. In American political history there have been a few leading figures who, for better or worse, have placed their political stamp indelibly on their times. They include Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt—and Ronald Reagan. A conservative hero in a conservative age, Reagan has been so admired by a minority of historians and so disliked by the others that it has been difficult to evaluate his administration with detachment. Drawing on numerous primary documents that have been neglected or only recently released to the public, as well as on emerging historical work, Wilentz offers invaluable revelations about conservatism's ascendancyand the era in which Reagan was the preeminent political figure.

Vivid, authoritative, and illuminating from start to finish, The Age of Reagan raises profound questions and opens passionate debate about our nation's recent past.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060744809
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/06/2008
Series:
American History Series
Pages:
564
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: July 4,1976 14

1 Memories of the Ford Administration 26

2 Detente and Its Discontents 48

3 Jimmy Carter and the Agonies of Anti-Politics 73

4 Human Rights and Democratic Collapse 99

5 New Morning 127

6 Confronting the Evil Empire 151

7 "Call It Mysticism If You Will" 176

8 "We Have an Undercover Thing": The Iran-Contra Affair 209

9 "Another Time, Another Era" 245

10 Reaganism and Realism 288

11 The Politics of Clintonism 323

12 Clinton's Comeback 355

13 Animosities and Interest: The Impeachment of Clinton 382

14 Irreparable Harm: The Election of 2000 408

Epilogue: October 13,2001 432

Notes 461

Selected Sources and Readings 515

Index 545

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Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You miss the point: whether or not the outcome would have been the same, the Supreme Court should not have decided the 2000 election. Part of the reasoning of the founders in setting up the new government--and separating its three branches--was to avoid situations like this. In any case Clarence Thomas should have recused himself as he was appointed by W's father. Impropriety, or the appearance there of. As far as the biased aspect of the book that you point out, how do you feel about the writings of Hannity, O'Reilly and Coulter? Now THERE is a biased--angry, and misinformed as well--bunch. Mr. Wilentz is at least presenting a well written, thoughtful assessment. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I expected a liberal bias from Sean Willentz after having read his, The Rise of American Democracy, I did expect a more thoughtful and balanced analysis of this era. Instead, this is mostly a rehash of what I read in the papers and watched on the network news which repeats a leftist mythology in which Republicans and conservatives are manipulative connivers who use underhanded political maneuvers to defeat poor well meaning Democratic candidates in elections. His use of labels of people which hinder Democratic ambitions, such as 'the abusive ultraconservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal' and 'The oddball, independent, third party candidacy of the billionaire Ross Perot,' underscore his lack of objectivity. Even if one believes that such descriptions may be accurate he owes the reader at least some illustrations or evidence for such labels. By writing such a shallow and biased chronicle of the times Wilentz misses the opportunity to offer any valid insight into the conservative revolution which would explain why during the last three decades more voters found conservative ideas more appealing than the liberal ideas which had dominated American politics between FDR and Reagan. In his previous work, The Rise of American Democracy, Wilentz proves that he is capable of writing thoughtful and insightful history, but in The Age of Reagan he fails noticeably.