The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-09-01

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In October 1964, Ronald Reagan gave a televised speech in support of Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. "The Speech," as it has come to be known, helped launch Ronald Reagan as a leading force in the American conservative movement. However, less than twenty years earlier, Reagan was a prominent Hollywood liberal, the president of the Screen Actors Guild, and a fervent supporter of FDR and Harry Truman. While many agree that Reagan's anticommunism grew out of his experiences with the Hollywood communists of the late 1940s, the origins of his conservative ideology have remained obscure.Based on a newly discovered collection of private papers as well as interviews and corporate documents, The Education of Ronald Reaganoffers new insights into Reagan's ideological development and his political ascendancy. Thomas W. Evans links the eight years (1954-1962) in which Reagan worked for General Electric& -acting as host of its television program, GE Theater, and traveling the country as the company's public-relations envoy-to his conversion to conservatism.In particular, Evans reveals the profound influence of GE executive Lemuel Boulware, who would become Reagan's political and ideological mentor. Boulware, known for his tough stance against union officials and his innovative corporate strategies to win over workers, championed the core tenets of modern American conservatism-free-market fundamentalism, anticommunism, lower taxes, and limited government. Building on the ideas and influence of Boulware, Reagan would soon begin his rise as a national political figure and an icon of the American conservative movement.

Author Biography

Thomas W. Evans, a lawyer and avocational politician, has supervised a successful New Hampshire presidential primary and established a national citizens' campaign organization. A former adjunct professor of education and administration at Columbia University's Teachers College

Table of Contents

A New Dealer to the Corep. 3
Politics: War by Different Meansp. 24
A Postgraduate Course in Political Science
Boulwarismp. 37
The Plant Tourp. 57
Schools, Classes, and Trainsp. 69
An Apprenticeship for Public Life
The Campaignp. 83
Alliesp. 98
The Speechp. 111
Two Unionsp. 126
The Art of Negotiationp. 139
Encouraging an Increasing Majority of Citizens
The Campaign Continuesp. 157
The Presidential Bugp. 185
A President's Visionp. 199
Speeches of Reuther, Boulware, and Reagan
Walter P. Reuther, Labor and the Communityp. 224
Lemuel Boulware, Salvation Is Not Freep. 229
Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing ("The Speech")p. 238
Notesp. 251
Referencesp. 277
Acknowledgmentsp. 285
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Read Chapter 1 from The Education of Ronald Reagan, A New Dealer to the Core

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