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Reagan's Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right (American Presidential Elections) Paperback – November 11, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Busch tells an important story here about what he calls 'the Earthquake of 1980.' Well-organized, well-paced, and well-argued, this is a first-rate political history."

From the Back Cover

"Busch tells an important story here about what he calls 'the Earthquake of 1980.' Well-organized, well-paced, and well-argued, this is a first-rate political history."--Gil Troy, author of Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s

"A new series needs a worthy inauguration. The University Press of Kansas has provided the former in its series on crucial elections. Andrew Busch has provided the latter with Reagan's Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right. Busch gathers all the elements of that sour, unpredictable, bubbling, confused, but ultimately iconic affair: the issue context, the cast of contenders, the campaign dynamic, and a view of the aftermath. And he ties them together with a focus on crisis and renewal, giving the 1980 election its claims on political consequence--and on our attention."--Byron E. Shafer, author of The Two Majorities and the Puzzle of Modern American Politics

"A meticulous, almost surgical, analysis of the 1980 election."--Burton I. Kaufman, author of The Presidency of James Earl Carter, Jr.

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Product Details

  • Series: American Presidential Elections
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (November 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700614087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700614080
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Spence on November 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I thought this was a fair, nonbiased look at the 1980 Presidential election. The author covers all aspects of the campaign, from the summer of 1979 when it looked like Ted Kennedy was a shoe in to beat Jimmy Carter for the Democratic Nomination to the eventual Reagan landslide in November 1980.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Badger75 on March 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
President Jimmy Carter seems destined to never receive a fair and proper analysis. A graduate of Annapolis and one of Admiral Rickover's men in the nuclear submarine program, Jimmy Carter went home to tend the family farm. He was the first evangelical president, yet was rejected by those voters in favor of Gov. Reagan in 1980.

Carter was a one term Governor of Georgia while Reagan was a two term Gov. of California.

Carter was elected President in 1976 mostly as a reaction to the scandals of Watergate. Reagan was a veteran of the Hollywood studio system, a professional showman.

Both men were true to their training. Carter, an engineer, was a classic policy wonk who preferred to lecture audiences on government detail. Reagan, the showman, was forever leaving em laughing after telling mostly silly, far fetched tales of government excess.

This book does have a bias. The author prefers the Reagan revolution. Less than halfway through, the reader is getting post mortem's on the Carter campaign. The index is full of Republican names.

Carter was faced with severe inflation and recession caused by the sudden shutdown of the long running Vietnam War in 1975. After firing hundreds of CIA-Pentagon "contractors", Carter was faced with the unprecedented Iran hostage takeover of the US embassy, which stunningly surrendered right after Reagan's 1980 victory. The additional primary challenge from Sen. Kennedy made President Carter's 1980 campaign futile.

The book does mention most of this in passing. In 1980, America did get a preview of what eight years of Ronald Reagan as President would mean. Even GOP opponent George H.W. Bush, was caught off guard by the confluence of TV and a veteran entertainer. Jimmy Carter taking about energy policy was no match for jokes about finding a pony in the poop.
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5 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams on December 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Need to read this book and see how the real world works behind the cameras. You can see what a great man President Reagan really was and how bad some of the people around him were.
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8 of 30 people found the following review helpful By pr52David on July 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This little book is a disappointing analysis of the presidential election of 1980 by a conservative scholar of American politics. Even though it contains somme interesting insights about the political dynamics of the late seventies and about presidential campaigning at the end of the party era in presidential politics, the book does not add much to the existing litterature on these topics and suffers from its unmistakable -however hypocritical-conservative bias.
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Reagan's Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right (American Presidential Elections)
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