Ronald Reagan: Heroic Dreamer

Wesley B. Borucki, PhD
Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, FL, USA

Series: First Men, America’s Presidents
BISAC: HIS036060

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Coming from humble origins in Illinois, Ronald Reagan always carried an optimism that life would get better, and with his education from small Eureka College, he moved on to become a radio announcer in Iowa and an actor for Warner Brothers in Hollywood. As World War II ended, his political consciousness grew to the point that he appreciated a palpable Communist influence in Hollywood – an influence he fought as president of the Screen Actors Guild. He became a Republican turned off by large government programs and high tax rates that stifled personal initiative, and a televised 1964 speech in support of Senator Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign put him on the political map. After his acting career moved from motion pictures to television, he decided at his friends’ urging to run for governor of California in 1966.

He won and served two terms as a successful governor, cutting government waste and abuse of the welfare rolls while protecting law and order and the environment. After the great trials of the nation with Watergate and the Vietnam War, Reagan challenged fellow Republicans for president in 1976 unsuccessfully, but he learned a lot. Following the economic decline of the late 1970s, the nation was ready for Reagan as president in the 1980 election. He won wide success and popularity over two terms – even overcoming the Iran-Contra scandal — by cutting taxes, trusting the people’s ability to work hard and give to others in need, and by never backing down to the Soviet Union. He also dreamed of nuclear weapons’ elimination; he at least managed the elimination of one class of weapons with the INF Treaty signed with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The Cold War was effectively won with Reagan’s presidency. (Imprint: Nova)

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1 - From “Dutch” to Ronald: A Midwesterner Goes to Hollywood (pp. 1-18)

Chapter 2 - Reagan in Hollywood (pp. 19-36)

Chapter 3 - The New Dealer Becomes Republican (pp. 37-48)

Chapter 4 - Putting Ideals into Practice: Reagan As California Governor (pp. 49-72)

Chapter 5 - Lessons from Presidential Campaigns: “The Great Communicator” Becomes Greater (pp. 73-98)

Chapter 6 - Morning in America: Restoring America’s Confidence in the First Term (pp. 99-174)

Chapter 7 - Taking on the “Evil Empire”: Reagan the Cold Warrior (pp. 175-214)

Chapter 8 - The Taste of Bittersweet: Reagan and The Middle East (pp. 215-230)

Chapter 9 - Prosperity and Statesmanship: The Second Term (pp. 231-292)

Chapter 10 - Epilogue: After the Presidency (pp. 293-302)

Bibliography

About the Author

Photos

Index

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