Conservatives in Power: The Reagan Years, 1981-1989: A Brief History with Documents / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 54%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $9.98   
  • New (7) from $19.17   
  • Used (5) from $9.98   


Ronald Reagan's election to the presidency in 1980 marked a victory for conservatism. But, as Meg Jacobs and Julian Zelizer point out in their introduction, once in power, conservatives discovered that implementing their agenda and reversing the liberalism entrenched in American government would not be as easy as they had hoped. In this collection, Jacobs and Zelizer explore the successes and limitations of the so-called Reagan Revolution and chronicle its legacy through subsequent presidencies up to Barack Obama's election in 2008. More than 60 thematically organized documents — some recently released — illuminate conservatives' efforts to shift American politics to the right. These materials — including speeches, memos, and articles from the popular press — explore Reagan's personal evolution as a conservative leader, as well as Reaganomics, tax cuts, anticommunism, the arms race, the culture wars, and scandals such as Iran Contra. Photographs, document headnotes, a chronology, selected bibliography, and questions for consideration provide pedagogical support.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312488314
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 9/17/2010
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 826,032
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

MEG JACOBS (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is an associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she specializes in twentieth-century American political history. Her first book, Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (2005) won the Organization of American Historian's Ellis W. Hawley prize for the best book on political economy, politics, and institutions of the modern United States, as well as the New England History Association's Best Book Award. With William J. Novak and Julian E. Zelizer, she is also a coeditor of The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History (2003).

JULIAN E. ZELIZER (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University) is professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. His book, Taxing America: Wilbur D.  Mills, Congress and the State, 1945-1975 (1998) won the Organization of American Historian's Ellis W. Hawley prize for the best book on political economy, politics, and institutions of the modern United States and the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation's D.B. Hardeman Prize for Best Publication on Congress. Zelizer is also the author of On Capitol Hill: The Struggle  to Reform Congress and its Consequences, 1948-2000 (2004) and Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National  Security—From World War II to the War on Terrorism (2010). With William J. Novak and Meg Jacobs, he is also a coeditor of The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History (2003).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

PART ONE. Introduction: Mr. Conservative Comes to Washington
  From Movement to Governance
  Domestic Politics
  National Security 
  Conservatism since 1988

PART TWO. The Documents
Origins, 1957-1980

  1. Ronald Reagan, Commencement Address at Eureka College, June 7, 1957
  2. Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing, October 27, 1964
  3. Ronald Reagan, Campaign Speech at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, May 12, 1966
  4. Ronald Reagan, California and the Problem of Government Growth, January 5, 1967
  5. Ronald Reagan, Speech to America, March 31, 1976
  6. Newt Gingrich, Campaign Speech to College Republicans in Atlanta, June 24, 1978
  7. Ronald Reagan, Speech at Neshoba County Fair, August 3, 1980
Reaganomics, 1981
  8. Ronald Reagan, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981
  9. Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on the Economy, February 5, 1981 
  10. Robert Michel, Letter to Republican Colleagues, May 29, 1981
  11. Ronald Reagan, Air Traffic Controllers Strike, August 3, 1981
  12. William Greider, The Education of David Stockman, December 1981
Mobilizing on the Political Left and Right, 1982
  13. Elizabeth H. Dole, Black Strategy, February 24, 1982
  14. William F. Sittmann, Summer Alternatives, May 5, 1982
  15. Elizabeth H. Dole, Conservative Social Agenda, March 9, 1982
  16. John T. (Terry) Dolan, Letter to James Baker, August 12, 1982
  17. Ronald Reagan, Letter to Barry Goldwater, September 7, 1982
  18. Lee Atwater, “The Gender Gap”: A Postelection Assessment, November 23, 1982
Morning in America: Reagan's Reelection, 1983-1985
  19. Thomas P. O'Neill Jr., Campaign to Save Medicare/Medicaid, 1984
  20. Ronald Reagan, Radio Address to the Nation on the Presidential Campaign, October 13, 1984
  21. Ronald Reagan, Remarks of the President to the Twelfth Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, March 1, 1985
Domestic Culture Wars, 1986-1988
  22. William J. Bennett, Completing the Reagan Revolution, July 8, 1986
  23. Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on the Campaign against Drug Abuse, September 14, 1986
  24. Edward M. Kennedy, Robert Bork's America, July 1, 1987
  25. Gary L. Bauer, Issues Update - Taxes and the Budget, October 23, 1987
  26. Frank J. Donatelli, “Selfishness” as a 1988 Campaign Issue, January 6, 1988
  27. Ronald Reagan, 1988 Legislative and Administrative Message: A Union of Individuals, January 25, 1988
Reagan's Foreign Policy: Peace through Strength, 1980-1983
  28. Ronald Reagan, A Strategy for Peace in the Eighties, October 19, 1980
  29. Alexander M. Haig Jr., Letter to Brezhnev, September 18, 1981
  30. Minutes of National Security Council Meeting on Strategy toward Cuba and Central America, November 10, 1981
  31. A Public Affairs Program to Support the Administration's Nuclear Policy, May 5, 1982
  32. National Security Council, Directive No. 75 on U.S. Relations with the USSR, January 17, 1983
  33. Ronald Reagan, “Evil Empire” Speech, March 8, 1983
  34. Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on Defense and National Security, March 23, 1983
Setbacks and Victories in Foreign Affairs, 1983-1984
  35. Robert C. Byrd and Thomas P. O'Neill Jr., Letter to President Reagan, July 28, 1983
  36. CBS News/New York Times, Poll on Grenada and Lebanon Conflicts, October 28, 1983
  37. William I. Greener III, Upcoming Movie on ABC, November 17, 1983
  38. Ronald Reagan, Remarks at a Ceremony Commemorating the Fortieth Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day, June 5, 1984
  39. Debate between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale, October 21, 1984
International Negotiations and Covert Missions, 1985-1986
  40. Ronald Reagan, Letter to Mikhail Gorbachev, March 11, 1985, and Alexander Yakovlev, Memo on Reagan, March 12, 1985
  41. Oliver North, Fallback Plan for the Nicaraguan Resistance, March 16, 1985
  42. Memo on Conversation between Reagan and Gorbachev and Meeting While Leaders Walk, November 19, 1985
  43. Oliver North and John M. Poindexter, Covert Action Finding Regarding Iran, January 17, 1986
  44. Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on the Situation in Nicaragua, March 16, 1986
National Security Scandal and Success, 1986-1988 
  45. Caspar Weinberger, Oval Office Meeting on Iran-Contra, November 10, 1986
  46. Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy, March 4, 1987
  47. Ronald Reagan, Remarks on East-West Relations at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, June 12, 1987
  48. Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy and Administration Goals, August 12, 1987
  49. Arthur B. Culvahouse, Iran-Contra Congressional Reports, November 16, 1987
  50. Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair, Introduction to Iran-Contra Minority Report, 1987
  51. Meeting of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, December 8, 1987
  52. Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, December 16, 1988
Legacies, 1988-2009
  53. George H. W. Bush, Acceptance Speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention, August 18, 1988
  54. George H. W. Bush, “New World Order” Speech, September 11, 1990
  55. Republican Party Leaders, Contract with America, 1994
  56. William J. Clinton, Statement on Signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, August 22, 1996
  57. George W. Bush, Acceptance Speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention, August 3, 2000
  58. George W. Bush, Address on the U.S. Response to the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, September 20, 2001
  59. George W. Bush, Eulogy at the National Funeral Service for Ronald Reagan, June 11, 2004
  60. Michael Scherer, Right-Wingers Turn against Bush, February 9, 2006
  61. Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, A Political Odyssey, August 2, 2009
  A Chronology of Ronald Reagan and Conservatism (1911-2004)
  Questions for Consideration
  Selected Bibliography


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)