Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

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by Michael Schaller
     
 

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In this short biography, Michael Schaller, acclaimed historian of the American political right, offers readers a poignant account of Ronald Reagan's life and achievements, from his small-town upbringing in rural Illinois to his cinematic success in Hollywood, entry into politics as governor of California, and meteoric rise to the White House, where he served for

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Overview

In this short biography, Michael Schaller, acclaimed historian of the American political right, offers readers a poignant account of Ronald Reagan's life and achievements, from his small-town upbringing in rural Illinois to his cinematic success in Hollywood, entry into politics as governor of California, and meteoric rise to the White House, where he served for eight years. The polarizing Great Communicator oversaw many developments that changed the face of American politics and life-the Iran-Contra Affair, the establishment of "Reaganomics," the largest military buildup in peacetime US history—and as such remains a figure about whom much is written and much has yet to be discovered. Schaller revisits each of these episodes during and leading up to the Reagan presidency, taking into account the latest scholarship and research. In doing so, he makes clear their significance at the time and in later years.

While most presidential biographies approach 1,000 pages, this succinct narrative comes in at just over 100 pages, continuing the tradition of excellence in brevity established by James McPherson's New York Times bestseller Abraham Lincoln and Alan Brinkley's recent short biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Schaller's biography of Ronald Reagan will be available in time to commemorate the centennial of Reagan's birth, an opportune time to reflect on the accomplishments of America's fortieth president.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Michael Schaller's Ronald Reagan tells the remarkable story of one of America's most influential presidents intelligently and effectively. Like Reagan himself, the book is eloquent, focused, and to the point, making it a fine addition to this series." — Gil Troy, author of Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s and The Reagan Revolution: A Very Introduction

Library Journal
Schaller (history, Univ. of Arizona; The Republican Ascendancy) offers a short biography of the 40th President, concentrating mostly on Reagan's two presidential terms and drawing on his own previous works. Schaller maintains that Reagan's two terms ushered in a "Reagan evolution," rather than a "Reagan Revolution," with ambitious goals that were often not accomplished: federal budgets always ran a deficit, government did not shrink, and the Soviet "evil empire" collapsed more from President Mikhail Gorbachev's realization that the USSR would have to change to survive than from veiled threats of annihilation by the U.S. "Star Wars" missile system. Reagan is credited with broadening the conservative base and tilting the country to the right through his appointments to the Supreme Court and over 400 federal judgeships, as well as connecting to the public through his soaring speeches. His influence on conservatism, Schaller concludes, was gradual but lasting. VERDICT This book, as with the other recent addition to Oxford's short presidential biographies, Robert Dallek's John F. Kennedy, is recommended for students and general readers seeking brief but authoritative introductions to the Presidents.—Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199751747
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/31/2010
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,222,725
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

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