The Enduring Reagan

The Enduring Reagan

The Enduring Reagan

The Enduring Reagan

Synopsis

A former Sunday school teacher and Hollywood actor, Ronald Reagan was an unlikely candidate for president. His charisma, conviction, and leadership earned him the governorship of California, from which he launched his successful bid to become the fortieth president of the United States in 1980. Reagan's political legacy continues to be the standard by which all conservatives are judged. In The Enduring Reagan, editor Charles W. Dunn brings together eight prominent scholars to examine the political career and legacy of Ronald Reagan. This anthology offers a bold reassessment of the Reagan years and the impact they had on the United States and the world.

Excerpt

Charles W. Dunn

History is replete with proofs, from Cato the Elder to Kennedy the
Younger, that if you scratch a statesman you will find an actor, but it
is becoming harder and harder in our day, to tell government from
show business.

—James Thurber

Critics contended that Ronald Reagan was nothing more than a thirdrate Hollywood actor who lacked sufficient intellectual depth and educational training to serve successfully as president. Coming from the small town of Dixon in the midst of flat Illinois cornfields, raised by a very religious mother, Nelle, whose training led him to become a Sunday school teacher of grade-school boys, a graduate of a tiny and little-known religious college, Eureka, Reagan hardly had the pedigree to become president of the United States in the late twentieth century. But he defied that and more to confound the critics. So how did Reagan beat the odds? That which discounted and discredited his potential laid the foundation for his prominence.

IRONY 1: COUNTERINTUITIVE BACKGROUND

The foundation for Reagan’s reputation as the “Great Communicator” was laid during his boyhood. In midwestern Protestant churches of that era, Sunday school and church played prominent roles in child . . .

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