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Overview

Throughout his presidency, Ronald Reagan sought "peace through strength" during an era of historic change. In the decades since, pundits and scholars have argued over the president's legacy: some consider Reagan a charismatic and consummate leader who renewed American strength and defeated communism. To others he was an ambitious and dangerous warmonger whose presidency was plagued with mismanagement, misconduct, and foreign policy failures. The recent declassification of Reagan administration records and the availability of new Soviet documents has created an opportunity for more nuanced, complex, and compelling analyses of this pivotal period in international affairs.

In Reagan and the World, leading scholars and national security professionals offer fresh interpretations of the fortieth president's influence on American foreign policy. This collection addresses Reagan's management of the US national security establishment as well as the influence of Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and others in the administration and Congress. The contributors present in-depth explorations of US-Soviet relations and American policy toward Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. This balanced and sophisticated examination reveals the complexity of Reagan's foreign policy, clarifies the importance of other international actors of the period, and provides new perspectives on the final decade of the Cold War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813169378
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 06/05/2017
Series: Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace Series
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Bradley Lynn Coleman is the director of the John A. Adams '71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis at the Virginia Military Institute. He is the author of Colombia and the United States: The Making of an Inter-American Alliance, 1939--1960.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jack Matlock Jr. ix

Abbreviations xiii

Introduction Bradley Lynn Coleman Kyle Longley 1

Part 1 Ronald Reagan and the National Security Establishment

1 Ronald Reagan's Engagement and the Cold War James Graham Wilson 11

2 A Question of Morality: Ronald Reagan and Nuclear Weapons Beth A. Fischer 31

3 Beyond Cap the Foil: Caspar Weinberger and the Reagan-Era Defense Buildup Ronald J. Granieri 51

4 Transformative Leadership on Capitol Hill: The Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act James R. Locher III 81

Part 2 The Soviet Union and Europe

5 Gorbachev, Perestroika, and the End of the Cold War Archie Brown 111

6 For Better and for Worse: Ronald Reagan's Relationship with Margaret Thatcher, 1981-1983 James Cooper 127

7 The Sense of History: Ronald Reagan and François Mitterrand William I. Hitchcock 147

8 Navigating Choppy Waters: US-German Relations during the Last Decade of the Cold War David F. Patton 165

Part 3 Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East

9 Ronald Reagan and the Puzzles of "So-Called Communist China" and Vietnam Michael Schaller 191

10 An Obsession: The Central American Policy of the Reagan Administration Kyle Longley 211

11 Toward an Ecological Frontier: Environmental Policy, Economic Development, and US-Mexican Relations during the Reagan Presidency Evan R. Ward 239

12 Stranger in a Dangerous Land: Reagan and Lebanon, 1981-1984 Charles F. Brower IV 255

13 Researching Reagan: A Guide for Scholars of National Security Policy during the Ronald Reagan Presidency Ryan Carpenter 293

List of Contributors 307

Index 311

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