The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatismby Thomas W. Evans
In October 1964, Ronald Reagan gave a televised speech in support of Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. "The Speech," as it has come to be known, helped launch Ronald Reagan as a leading force in the American conservative movement. However, less than twenty years earlier, Reagan was a prominent Hollywood liberal, the president of the Screen Actors
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
In October 1964, Ronald Reagan gave a televised speech in support of Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. "The Speech," as it has come to be known, helped launch Ronald Reagan as a leading force in the American conservative movement. However, less than twenty years earlier, Reagan was a prominent Hollywood liberal, the president of the Screen Actors Guild, and a fervent supporter of FDR and Harry Truman. While many agree that Reagan's anticommunism grew out of his experiences with the Hollywood communists of the late 1940s, the origins of his conservative ideology have remained obscure.
Based on a newly discovered collection of private papers as well as interviews and corporate documents, The Education of Ronald Reagan offers new insights into Reagan's ideological development and his political ascendancy. Thomas W. Evans links the eight years (1954-1962) in which Reagan worked for General Electric& mdash;acting as host of its television program, GE Theater, and traveling the country as the company's public-relations envoy-to his conversion to conservatism.
In particular, Evans reveals the profound influence of GE executive Lemuel Boulware, who would become Reagan's political and ideological mentor. Boulware, known for his tough stance against union officials and his innovative corporate strategies to win over workers, championed the core tenets of modern American conservatism-free-market fundamentalism, anticommunism, lower taxes, and limited government. Building on the ideas and influence of Boulware, Reagan would soon begin his rise as a national political figure and an icon of the American conservative movement.
Joseph C. Goulden
Steven F. Hayward
Ronald W. Schatz
John H. Fund
What People are Saying About This
Tom Evans was present at the creation of great candidacies, and his book offers a fresh, valuable account of what made Reagan Reagan.
William Safire, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist
This remarkable book opens hitherto closed doors and windows into Ronald Reagan's early years. It is a fascinating, often riveting read.
Thomas Fleming, author of The New Dealers' War: FDR and the War Within World War II
Thomas Evans commendably helps to fill an important gap in the fascinating story of how Ronald Reagan went from movie actor to President of the United States by focusing on the eight years in the 1950s that he spent traveling America's byways for General Electric.
Stephen Hess, Distinguished Research Professor of Media & Public Affairs, The George Washington University
The first satisfying account of how Reagan evolved into a conservative.
Rick Perlstein, author of Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus
A persuasive explanation for a major gap in the Reagan 'mythology.'
Michael Flamm, Ohio Wesleyan University
This work confronts directly the everlasting question about why Ronald Reagan shifted so abruptly from Hollywood liberal and union leader to General Electric spokesman and anti-union activist. I know of no work that explains that transition and its implication for conservative leadership in America more effectively. In short, a major contribution to Reagan scholarship and presidency analysis.
James MacGregor Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
Meet the Author
Thomas W. Evans, a lawyer and avocational politician, has supervised a successful New Hampshire presidential primary and established a national citizens' campaign organization. A former adjunct professor of education and administration at Columbia University's Teachers College, Evans was chair of the Reagan administration's national symposium on partnerships in education and counsel to the Points of Light Foundation under George H.W. Bush.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews