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The Reagan Era : A History of the 1980s
by Doug Rossinow


Overview - In this concise yet thorough history of America in the 1980s, Doug Rossinow takes the full measure of Ronald Reagan's presidency and the ideology of Reaganism. Believers in libertarian economics and a muscular foreign policy, Reaganite conservatives in the 1980s achieved impressive success in their efforts to transform American government, politics, and society, ushering in the political and social system Americans inhabit today.  Read more...

 
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More About The Reagan Era by Doug Rossinow
 
 
 
Overview
In this concise yet thorough history of America in the 1980s, Doug Rossinow takes the full measure of Ronald Reagan's presidency and the ideology of Reaganism. Believers in libertarian economics and a muscular foreign policy, Reaganite conservatives in the 1980s achieved impressive success in their efforts to transform American government, politics, and society, ushering in the political and social system Americans inhabit today.

Rossinow links current trends in economic inequality to the policies and social developments of the Reagan era. He reckons with the racial politics of Reaganism and its debt to the backlash generated by the civil rights movement, as well as Reaganism's entanglement with the politics of crime and the rise of mass incarceration. Rossinow narrates the conflicts that rocked U.S. foreign policy toward Central America, and he explains the role of the recession during the early 1980s in the decline of manufacturing and the growth of a service economy.

From the widening gender gap to the triumph of yuppies and rap music, from Reagan's tax cuts and military buildup to the celebrity of Michael Jackson and Madonna, from the era's Wall Street scandals to the successes of Bill Gates and Sam Walton, from the first "war on terror" to the end of the Cold War and the brink of America's first war with Iraq, this history, lively and readable yet sober and unsparing, gives readers vital perspective on a decade that dramatically altered the American landscape.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780231169882
  • ISBN-10: 0231169884
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publish Date: February 2015
  • Page Count: 392
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > United States - 20th Century
Books > Political Science > American Government - Executive Branch
Books > Political Science > Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-12-01
  • Reviewer: Staff

At the beginning of the 1980s, Reaganism aspired to “liberate the sleeping giants of American wealth and enterprise from the fetters of social obligation, and to make such a flight from obligation unashamed and free from rebuke.” In assessing its success, Rossinow (Visions of Progress), professor of history at Metropolitan State University, delivers a sweeping account of America’s recent past. Central to his sense of Reaganism is economic policy, in which Reagan proved to be most legislatively effective—though Rossinow meticulously enumerates the harm of supply-side economics. He is equally critical of Reagan’s foreign policy, particularly his almost pathological obsession with Central America; the section exposing Reagan’s complicity in the Iran-Contra scandal is one of the book’s most damning portions. In demystifying Reagan’s role in ending the Cold War, Rossinow argues that the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. occurred despite Reagan’s confrontational foreign policy, not because of it. Far from protecting the United States, programs like the Strategic Defense Initiative threatened to derail whatever peace Gorbachev seemed interested in pursuing. Rossinow explains how the hedonist excess of Reaganism led to the cultural traditionalism that defined subsequent generations of the GOP, and though critical of Reagan and his acolytes, he demonstrates the powerful and lasting impact of Reaganism in American politics and values. (Feb.)

 
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