Paving the Way for Reagan: The Influence of Conservative Media on US Foreign Policy

Paving the Way for Reagan: The Influence of Conservative Media on US Foreign Policy

by Laurence R. Jurdem
Paving the Way for Reagan: The Influence of Conservative Media on US Foreign Policy

Paving the Way for Reagan: The Influence of Conservative Media on US Foreign Policy

by Laurence R. Jurdem

Hardcover

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Overview

From 1964 to 1980, the United States was buffeted by a variety of international crises, including the nation's defeat in Vietnam, the growing aggression of the Soviet Union, and Washington's inability to free the fifty two American hostages held by Islamic extremists in Iran. Through this period and in the decades that followed, Commentary, Human Events, and National Review magazines were critical in supporting the development of GOP conservative positions on key issues that shaped events at home and abroad. These publications and the politicians they influenced pursued a fundamental realignment of US foreign policy that culminated in the election of Ronald Reagan.

Paving the Way for Reagan closely examines the ideas and opinions conveyed by the magazines in relationship to their critiques of the dominant liberal foreign policy events of the 1960s and 1970s. Revealed is how the journalists' key insights and assessments of the US strategies on Vietnam, China, the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT), the United Nations, the Panama Canal, Rhodesia, and the Middle East applied pressure to leaders on the Right within the GOP who they believed were not being faithful to conservative principles. Their views were ultimately adopted within the conservative movement, and subsequently, helped lay the foundation for Reagan's "peace through strength" foreign policy.

Incorporating primary sources and firsthand accounts from writers and editors, Jurdem provides a comprehensive analysis of how these three publications played a fundamental role influencing elite opinion for a paradigm shift in US foreign policy during this crucial sixteen–year period.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813175843
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 08/03/2018
Series: Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Laurence R. Jurdem is an independent scholar who specializes in the history of American conservatism. His work has appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, National Review and History News Network.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Paving the Way for Reagan 1

1 An Erosion of Credibility: Vietnam, 1964-1975 21

2 The De-moralization of the Cold War: China, 1969-1978 45

3 An Illusion of Security: SALT, 1969-1980 65

4 A Symbol of Appeasement: The United Nations, 1964-1979 96

5 A Loss of National Pride: The Panama Canal, 1965-1979 115

6 Democratic Fantasies vs. Cold War Realities: Rhodesia, 1965-1980 131

7 The Pathology of Inaction: The Dilemma of Middle Eastern Oil and the Iranian Hostage Crisis, 1973-1980 147

Conclusion: A Friend in the White House 169

Acknowledgments 185

Notes 189

Bibliography 233

Index 251

Illustrations follow page 130

What People are Saying About This

Vincent J. Cannato

"Laurence Jurdem has read widely and researched deeply into the intellectual history of modern American conservatism. In Paving the Way for Reagan, he deftly shows how writers for Human Events, National Review, and Commentary, in reaction to the failures of the Vietnam War and détente, helped refashion American foreign policy and provide the ideological groundwork for the Republican Party's more hawkish policies under Ronald Reagan. In doing so, these three very different magazines had a profound impact on the unfolding of the final years of the Cold War. Jurdem's book deserves a place on the growing bookshelf of works about American conservative thought and politics."

George H. Nash

"In this perceptive and meticulously documented study, Laurence R. Jurdem shows how three insurgent conservative periodicals developed a trenchant critique of American foreign policy during the Vietnam War era and its dispiriting aftermath—and thereby helped to lay the foundations for the "Reagan Revolution" of 1980. His book casts valuable light on the ideological and geopolitical worldview behind President Reagan's daring reorientation of foreign policy. Jurdem also illuminates the fruitful and occasionally tense interaction between Reagan and his supporters in conservative media. The volume is a welcome addition to scholarship on Reagan's career and on the conservative movement that catapulted him to the White House."

Donald T. Critchlow

"Ideas matter! Paving the Way for Reagan shows how the conservative critique of postwar bipartisan foreign policy paid off in the Reagan administration by ending the Cold War. Great read."

Kyle Longley

"Dr. Jurdem successfully makes an argument that relies on an impressive array of primary sources as well as a good use of oral history to develop his arguments. Paving the Way for Reagan will make a lasting contribution to our understanding of the evolution of the modern conservative movement, particularly the one represented by Ronald Reagan and his contemporaries."

From the Publisher

"Dr. Jurdem successfully makes an argument that relies on an impressive array of primary sources as well as a good use of oral history to develop his arguments. Paving the Way for Reagan will make a lasting contribution to our understanding of the evolution of the modern conservative movement, particularly the one represented by Ronald Reagan and his contemporaries." — Kyle Longley, author of eight books including LBJ's 1968: Power, Politics, and the Presidency in America's Year of Upheaval


"In this perceptive and meticulously documented study, Laurence R. Jurdem shows how three insurgent conservative periodicals developed a trenchant critique of American foreign policy during the Vietnam War era and its dispiriting aftermath—and thereby helped to lay the foundations for the "Reagan Revolution" of 1980. His book casts valuable light on the ideological and geopolitical worldview behind President Reagan's daring reorientation of foreign policy. Jurdem also illuminates the fruitful and occasionally tense interaction between Reagan and his supporters in conservative media. The volume is a welcome addition to scholarship on Reagan's career and on the conservative movement that catapulted him to the White House." — George H. Nash, historian and author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945


"Laurence Jurdem has read widely and researched deeply into the intellectual history of modern American conservatism. In Paving the Way for Reagan, he deftly shows how writers for Human Events, National Review, and Commentary, in reaction to the failures of the Vietnam War and détente, helped refashion American foreign policy and provide the ideological groundwork for the Republican Party's more hawkish policies under Ronald Reagan. In doing so, these three very different magazines had a profound impact on the unfolding of the final years of the Cold War. Jurdem's book deserves a place on the growing bookshelf of works about American conservative thought and politics." — Vincent J. Cannato, University of Massachusetts Boston


"Ideas matter! Paving the Way for Reagan shows how the conservative critique of postwar bipartisan foreign policy paid off in the Reagan administration by ending the Cold War. Great read." — Donald T. Critchlow, author of Republican Character: From Nixon to Reagan

Aram Bakshian

"Most great moments in history have been decades in the making. Ronald Reagan's Cold War triumph was no exception. If he seized the moment by telling Gorbachev to 'tear down this wall' it was only after years of reflection and experience shaped by the writing of major conservative figures like William F. Buckley Jr., James Burnham, and so many others. Laurence Jurdem has done an outstanding job of documenting a unique, symbiotic relationship that not only made history, but changed it for the better."

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