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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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From the Back Cover
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.