Conservatives in Power: The Reagan Years, 1981-1989 A Brief History with Documents

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-09-17
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Ronald Reagan's election to the presidency in 1980 marked a victory for conservatism. But, as Meg Jacobs and Julian Zelizer point out in their introduction, once in power, conservatives discovered that implementing their agenda and reversing the liberalism entrenched in American government would not be as easy as they had hoped. In this collection, Jacobs and Zelizer explore the successes and limitations of the so-called Reagan Revolution and chronicle its legacy through subsequent presidencies up to Barack Obama's election in 2008. More than 60 thematically organized documents -- some recently released -- illuminate conservatives' efforts to shift American politics to the right. These materials -- including speeches, memos, and articles from the popular press -- explore Reagan's personal evolution as a conservative leader, as well as Reaganomics, tax cuts, anticommunism, the arms race, the culture wars, and scandals such as Iran Contra. Photographs, document headnotes, a chronology, selected bibliography, and questions for consideration provide pedagogical support.

Author Biography

Meg Jacobs (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is an associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she specializes in twentieth-century American political history. Her first book, Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (2005), won the Organization of American Historians' Ellis W. Hawley prize for the best book on political economy, politics, and institutions of the modern United States, as well as the New England History Association's Best Book Award. With William J. Novak and Julian E. Zelizer, she is also a coeditor of The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History (2003). Julian E. Zelizer (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University) is professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. His book, Taxing America: Wilbur D. Mills, Congress, and the State, 1945-1975 (1998), won the Organization of American Historians' Ellis W. Hawley prize for the best book on political economy, politics, and institutions of the modern United States and the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation's D. B. Hardeman Prize for Best Publication on Congress. Zelizer is also the author of On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and Its Consequences, 1948-2000 (2004) and Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security-From World War II to the War on Terrorism (2010). With William J. Novak and Meg Jacobs, he is also a coeditor of The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History (2003).

Table of Contents

Forewordp. v
Prefacep. vi
Introduction: Mr. Conservative Comes to Washingtonp. 1
From Movement to Governancep. 3
Domestic Politicsp. 20
National Securityp. 41
Conservatism since 1988p. 54
The Documentsp. 67
Origins, 1957-1980
Commencement Address at Eureka College, June 7, 1957p. 69
A Time for Choosing, October 27, 1964p. 72
Campaign Speech at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, May 12, 1966p. 74
California and the Problem of Government Growth, January 5, 1967p. 77
Speech to America, March 3l, 1976p. 79
Campaign Speech to College Republicans in Atlanta, June 24, 1978p. 83
Speech at Neshoba County Fair, August 3, 1980p. 86
Reaganomics, 1981p. 89
Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981p. 89
Address to the Nation on the Economy, February 5, 1981p. 92
Letter to Republican Colleagues, May 29, 1981p. 95
Air Traffic Controllers Strike, August 3, 1981p. 97
The Education of David Stockman, December 1981p. 99
Mobilizing on the Political left and Right, 1982p. 105
Black Strategy, February 24, 1982p. 105
Summer Alternatives, May 5, 1982p. 108
Conservative Social Agenda, March 9, 1982p. 110
Letter to James Baker, August 12, 1982p. 111
Letter to Barry Goldwater, September 7, 1982p. 113
"The Gender Gap": A Postelection Assessment, November 23, 1982p. 114
Morning in America: Reagan's Reelection, 1983-1985p. 118
Campaign to Save Medicare/Medicaid, 1984p. 118
Radio Address to the Nation on the Presidential Campaign, October 13, 1984p. 121
Remarks of the President to the Twelfth Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, March 1, 1985p. 123
Domestic Culture Wars, 1986-1988p. 126
Completing the Reagan Revolution, July 8, 1986p. 126
Address to the Nation on the Campaign against Drug Abuse, September 14, 1986p. 129
Robert Bork's America, July 1, 1987p. 131
Issues Update - Taxes and the Budget, October 23, 1987p. 133
"Selfishness"as a 1988 Campaign Issue, January 6, 1988p. 135
1988 Legislative and Administrative Message: A Union of Individuals, January 25, 1988p. 137
Reagan's Foreign Policy: Peace through Strength, 1980-1983p. 141
A Strategy for Peace in the Eighties, October 19, 1980p. 141
Letter to Brezhnev, September 18, 1981p. 143
Minutes of National Security Council Meeting on Strategy toward Cuba and Central America, November 10, 1981p. 146
A Public Affairs Program to Support the Administration's Nuclear Policy, May 5, 1982p. 149
National Security Council, Directive No. 75 on U.S. Relations with the USSR, January 17, 1983p. 152
"Evil Empire" Speech, March 8, 1983p. 161
Address to the Nation on Defense and National Security, March 23, 1983p. 164
Setbacks and Victories in Foreign Affairs, 1983-1984p. 169
Letter to President Reagan, July 28, 1983p. 169
CBS News/New York Times, Poll on Grenada and Lebanon Conflicts, October 28, 1983p. 171
Upcoming Movie on ABC, November 17, 1983p. 173
Remarks at a Ceremony Commemorating the Fortieth Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day, June 5, 1984p. 174
Debate between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale, October 21, 1984p. 176
International Negotiations and Covert Missions, 1985-1986p. 178
Letter to Mikhail Gorbachev, March 11, 1985, and Alexander Yakovlev, Memo on Reagan, March 12, 1985p. 178
Oliver North, Fallback Plan for the Nicaraguan Resistance, March 16, 1985p. 183
Memo on Conversation between Reagan and Gorbachev and Meeting While Leaders Walk, November 19, 1985p. 186
Covert Action Finding Regarding Iran, January 17, 1986p. 191
Address to the Nation on the Situation in Nicaragua, March 16, 1986p. 194
National Security Scandal and Success, 1986-1988p. 197
Oval Office Meeting on Iran-Contra, November 10, 1986p. 197
Address to the Nation on the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy, March 4, 1987p. 199
Remarks on East-West Relations at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, June 12, 1987p. 201
Address to the Nation on the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy and Administration Goals, August 12, 1987p. 203
Iran-Contra Congressional Reports, November 16, 1987p. 205
Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair, Introduction to Iran-Contra Minority Report, 1987p. 207
Meeting of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, December 8, 1987p. 212
Remarks at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, December 16, 1988p. 215
Legacies, 1988-2009p. 218
Acceptance Speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention, August 18, 1988p. 218
"New World Order" Speech, September 11, 1990p. 220
Republican Party Leaders, Contract with America, 1994p. 222
Statement on Signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of1996, August 22, 1996p. 225
Acceptance Speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention, August 3,2000p. 228
Address on the U.S. Response to the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, September 20, 2001p. 230
Eulogy at the National Funeral Service for Ronald Reagan, June 11,2004p. 232
Right-Wingers Turn against Bush, February 9,2006p. 233
A Political Odyssey, August 2,2009p. 235
A Chronology of Ronald Reagan and Conservatism (1911-2004)p. 237
Questions for Considerationp. 241
Selected Bibliographyp. 242
Indexp. 248
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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