Reckoning with Reagan

Author: Michael Schaller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019992354X
Format: PDF, ePub
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At the height of Ronald Reagan's popularity in July 1986, Time magazine wrote glowingly of how he had "found America's sweet spot." Reagan seemed a "magician who carries a bright, ideal America like a holograph in his mind and projects its image in the air." Not since the rhapsody about "Camelot" that surrounded John F. Kennedy in the wake of his assassination had a president been spoken of so reverently. Reagan pledged to bring Americans a "little good news" and during the next eight years, through recession and recovery, cold war and detente, success and scandal Reagan forged a powerful bond with the public. His popularity appeared so unrelated to actual achievements and so undiminished by failure that Colorado Representative Pat Schroeder dubbed him the "Teflon president." Providing a brief but comprehensive and non-polemical overview of what exactly took place during the Reagan years, Michael Schaller presents a lively account of the Reagan presidency, weighing the president's great personal and political popularity against the effects of his economic, social, diplomatic, and strategic decisions. Much more than an account of Reagan the man, Schaller offers us a fascinating evaluation of the Reagan phenomenon, providing an accessible introduction for Americans struggling to understand the illusory and actual impact of the Reagan administration on the 1980s and on years to come.

Altered States

Author: Michael Schaller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198023371
Format: PDF, Docs
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The relationship between the United States and Japan is torn by contrary impulses. We face each other across the Pacific as friends and allies, as the two most powerful economies in the world--and as suspicious rivals. Americans admire the industry of the Japanese, but we resent the huge trade deficit that has developed between us, due to what we consider to be unfair trade practices and "unlevel playing fields." Now, in Altered States, historian Michael Schaller strips away the stereotypes and misinformation clouding American perceptions of Japan, providing the historical background that helps us make sense of this important relationship. Here is an eye-opening history of U.S.-Japan relations from the end of World War II to the present, revealing its rich depths and startling complexities. Perhaps Schaller's most startling revelation is that modern Japan is what we made it--that most of what we criticize in Japan's behavior today stems directly from U.S. policy in the 1950s. Indeed, as the book shows, for seven years after the end of the war, our occupational forces exerted enormous influence over the shape and direction of Japan's economic future. Stunned by the Communist victory in China and the outbreak of war in Korea, and fearful that Japan might form ties with Mao's China, the U.S. encouraged the rapid development of the Japanese economy, protecting the huge industrial conglomerates and creating new bureaucracies to direct growth. Thus Japan's government-guided, export-driven economy was nurtured by our own policy. Moreover, the United States fretted about Japan's economic weakness--that they would become dependent on us--and sought to expand Tokyo's access to markets in the very areas it had just tried to conquer, the old Co Prosperity Sphere. Schaller documents how, as the Cold War deepened throughout the 1950s, Washington showered money on what it saw as the keystone of the eastern shore of Asia, working assiduously to expand the Japanese economy and, in fact, worrying intensely over the American trade surplus. Fear of Japanese instability ran so deep that Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson approved secret financial help to Japanese conservative politicians, some of whom had been accused of war crimes against Americans. Then came the 1960s, and the surplus faded into a deficit. The book reveals how Washington's involvement in Vietnam provided the Japanese government with political cover for quietly pursuing a more independent course. Even in the 1970s, however, with America's one time ward turned into an economic powerhouse, the Nixon administration failed to pay much attention to Tokyo. Schaller shows that Kissinger openly preferred the more charismatic company of Zhou Enlai to that of Japanese technocrats, while economics bored him. The United States almost missed the fact that Japan had developed into a country that could say no, and very loudly. Michael Schaller has won widespread acclaim for his earlier books on U. S. relations with Asia. His fearless judgments, his fluid pen, his depth of knowledge and research have all lifted him to the front rank of historians writing today. In Altered States, he illuminates the most important, and troubled, relationship in the world in a work certain to cement his reputation.

Ronald Reagan and the 1980s

Author: C. Hudson
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230616194
Format: PDF, Kindle
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By the end of the 1980s, many Americans looked at the state of the nation with a renewed optimism, which was personified by an enduring American president - Ronald Wilson Reagan. The essays in this volume revisit the 1980s in order to examine the factors that contributed to his political and cultural triumphs and assess his legacy.

Your Past and the Press

Author: Joseph Michael Green
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 9780761828020
Format: PDF, ePub
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Through exploring the public depiction of Judge Robert Bork and Professor Lani Guinier, Your Past and the Press! elucidates how interest groups and the media influence the confirmation process for top-level government appointees. Illuminating the sequence of events characterized by the derailment of Bork and Guinier, author Joseph Michael Green details the activities surrounding the entire nomination process, from the announcement of a nominee to his/her ultimate defeat. Until recently, the vast majority of studies performed on the appointment process focused solely on the roles of the United States Senate and the nominee during confirmation hearings. This research fills a serious gap in political science literature by focusing on the impact of interest groups and media activity upon presidential decision-making.

Presidents Who Shaped the American West

Author: Glenda Riley
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806160861
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Generations of Americans have seen the West as beyond federal control and direction. But the national government’s presence in the West dates to before Lewis and Clark, and since 1789 a number of U.S. presidents have had a penetrating and long-lasting impact on the region. In Presidents Who Shaped the American West, noted historians Glenda Riley and Richard W. Etulain present startling analyses of chief executives and their policies, illuminating the long reach of presidential power. The authors begin each chapter by sketching a particular president’s biography and explaining the political context in which he operated while in office. They then consider overarching actions and policies that affected both the nation and the region during the president’s administration, such as Thomas Jefferson’s augmentation of the West via the Louisiana Purchase, and Andrew Jackson’s removal of American Indians from the Southeast to “Indian Country” in the West. Abraham Lincoln’s promotion of the Homestead Act, a transcontinental railroad, and western territories and states free of slavery marked further extensions of presidential power in the region. Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation efforts and Jimmy Carter’s expansion of earlier policies reflected growing public concern with the West’s finite natural resources and fragile natural environment. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s highway program, and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society funneled federal funding into the West. In return for this largesse, some argued, the West paid the price of increased federal hegemony, and Ronald Reagan’s presidency arguably curbed that power. Riley and Etulain also discuss the most recent presidential terms and the region’s growing political power in Congress and the federal bureaucracy. With an accessible approach, Presidents Who Shaped the American West establishes the crucial and formative nature of the relationship between the White House and the West—and will encourage readers to continue examining this relationship.

Deconstructing Reagan Conservative Mythology and America s Fortieth President

Author: Kyle Longley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317473248
Format: PDF, Docs
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Although he left office nearly 20 years ago, Ronald Reagan remains a potent symbol for the conservative movement. The Bush administration frequently invokes his legacy as it formulates and promotes its fiscal, domestic, and foreign policies. His name is watchword for campus conservatives who regard him in a way that borders on hero worship. Conservative media pundits often equate the term "Reagan-esque" with personal honor, fiscal rectitude, and unqualified success in dealing with foreign threats. But how much of the Reagan legacy is based on fact, how much on idealized myth? And what are the reasons - political and otherwise - behind the mythmaking? "Deconstructing Reagan" is a fascinating study of the interplay of politics and memory concerning our fortieth president. While giving credit where credit is due, the authors scrutinize key aspects of the Reagan legacy and the conservative mythology that surrounds it.

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan

Author: J. Cooper
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137283661
Format: PDF
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A new exploration of the relationship between the Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan administrations in domestic policy. Using recently released documentary material and extensive research interviews, James Cooper demonstrates how specific policy transfer between these 'political soul mates' was more limited than is typically assumed.

The Cold War

Author: Ronald E. Powaski
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199879583
Format: PDF, Docs
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For half of the twentieth century, the Cold War gripped the world. International relations everywhere--and domestic policy in scores of nations--pivoted around this central point, the American-Soviet rivalry. Even today, much of the world's diplomacy grapples with chaos created by the Cold War's sudden disappearance. Here indeed is a subject that defies easy understanding. Now comes a definitive account, a startlingly fresh, clear eyed, comprehensive history of our century's longest struggle. In The Cold War, Ronald E. Powaski offers a new perspective on the great rivalry, even as he provides a coherent, concise narrative. He wastes no time in challenging the reader to think of the Cold War in new ways, arguing that the roots of the conflict are centuries old, going back to Czarist Russia and to the very infancy of the American nation. He shows that both Russia and America were expansionist nations with messianic complexes, and the people of both nations believed they possessed a unique mission in history. Except for a brief interval in 1917, Americans perceived the Russian government (whether Czarist or Bolshevik) as despotic; Russians saw the United States as conspiring to prevent it from reaching its place in the sun. U.S. military intervention in Russia's civil war, with the aim of overthrowing Lenin's upstart regime, entrenched Moscow's fears. Soviet American relations, difficult before World War II--when both nations were relatively weak militarily and isolated from world affairs--escalated dramatically after both nations emerged as the world's major military powers. Powaski paints a portrait of the spiraling tensions with stark clarity, as each new development added to the rivalry: the Marshall Plan, the communist coup in Czechoslovakia, the Berlin blockade, the formation of NATO, the first Soviet nuclear test. In this atmosphere, Truman found it easy to believe that the Communist victory in China and the Korean War were products of Soviet expansionism. He and his successors extended their own web of mutual defense treaties, covert actions, and military interventions across the globe--from the Caribbean to the Middle East and, finally to Southeast Asia, where containment famously foundered in the bog of Vietnam. Powaski skillfully highlights the domestic politics, diplomatic maneuvers, and even psychological factors as he untangles the knot that bound the two superpowers together in conflict. From the nuclear arms race, to the impact of U.S. recognition of China on detente, to Brezhnev's inflexible persistence in competing with America everywhere, he casts new light on familiar topics. Always judicious in his assessments, Powaski gives due credit to Reagan and especially Bush in facilitating the Soviet collapse, but also notes that internal economic failure, not outside pressure, proved decisive in the Communist failure. Perhaps most important, he offers a clear eyed assessment of the lasting distortions the struggle wrought upon American institutions, raising questions about whether anyone really won the Cold War. With clarity, fairness, and insight, he offers the definitive account of our century's longest international rivalry.

Right Turn

Author: Michael Schaller
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195172577
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An entire generation has passed since the election that installed Ronald Reagan into the White House. This brisk narrative fills a significant gap in the literature on recent U.S. history, making use of diverse memoir material, journalistic accounts, biographies, and specialized policy studies, including those produced recently. Rather than focusing solely on the Reagan and Bush administrations or presidencies, Right Turn addresses the various policy, cultural, social, economic, and technological issues that made the 1980s and early 1990s such an interesting product of the events that proceeded it--and such a vital force in American life that followed. Beginning in the late 1970s and concluding in the early 1990s, this book examines how conservative ideas and organizations reemerged from the shadows of the Great Depression and the New Deal. It describes national politics and public policies implemented by conservative Republicans, the dramatic climax of the Cold War, and the ways in which economic, legal, social, and cultural developments affected ordinary Americans in all their diversity. Featuring numerous photographs throughout and detailed guides to specialized readings at the end of each chapter, Right Turn is ideal for history and political science courses that cover post-1945 America as well as the 1980s and 1990s.