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Revolution Hardcover – May 1, 1988

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1st edition (May 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151770875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151770878
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A former White House economistpresidential assistant for policy developmentAnderson helped to develop supply-side theory or "Reaganomics." Relating many behind-the-scenes anecdotes, his self-congratulatory, relentlessly upbeat reminiscence credits the Reagan administration with bringing about "the greatest economic expansion in history" and praises the President for ushering in "the largest increases in social welfare spending in any country in history." Asserting that the likelihood of an accidental nuclear war escalates with each passing day, Anderson pursues the theory that a missile-defense system can prevent Armageddon. He interprets the Iran-contra affair as "a clash of good ideas and bad ideas," with Reagan betrayed by his advisers. He exaggerates the extent to which China has adopted capitalistic measures. This facile rewriting of history has a hollow ring.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Anderson served as assistant to the President for policy development during 1980-82. He acknowledges President Reagan, inheritor of the neocapitalist "revolution" beginning in the 1960s, as manager of the conservative agenda. Anderson skillfully unravels the intricacies of domestic and foreign policymaking, and the roles of presidential advisers. He clearly admires Reagan, but does not ignore the shortcomings of the President's heavy reliance on current advisers who lack the talents of earlier ones. In a lengthy recounting, Anderson blames Casey and North for the Iran-contra scandal. This excellent, balanced, refreshingly nondogmatic treatment of Reagan's leadership style is strongly recommended. The issue of what Speakes said and why has generated much publicity. Although Speakes served as presidential press secretary for six years, his book offers little thoughtful commentary. Presidential press secretaries are not usually influential policy makers, and Speakes does not disprove that notion. He makes unkind remarks about most of his superiorsBush, Meese, Weinberger, Haigwith Casey being a notable exception. Unlike Anderson, Speakes portrays Casey as a tragic hero made a laughingstock by the press. Speakes's attempts at humor are often demeaning, as when he acknowledges that President Reagan does a good gay imitation. His case that the invasion of Grenada was not influenced by the terrorist attack on the marine barracks in Lebanon is less than convincing. Speaking Out is more valuable for its allusions to the frustrations inherent in the position of press secretary than for its analysis of the Reagan administration. Speakes has earned much notoriety, but Anderson's book is a much better choice. (Bibliographies and indexes not seen.) Karl Helicher, Wolfsohn Memorial Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Who, What, Where? VINE VOICE on July 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Anderson was present at the creation of the Reagan administration. He was one of the individuals who helped Reagan persuade others within government of the benefits associated with Reaganomics. He was one of the people who helped show how tax cuts work, and why doing them is good for all. This is supported with evidence, not ideology within the book. Anderson also does a good job a dissecting the problems inherent in Reagan's management style. The book also sheds some light into the personalities that inhabited the West Wing as well. This book is not a simple memoir in which the author explains only that which made him someone to be looked up to, rather it is a sober work in which one recounts the mistakes and good decisions he made.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clark L. Coleman on March 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Martin Anderson was the chief adviser on domestic and economic policy for Ronald Reagan, from the 1980 campaign through the first few pivotal years of his administration. In Revolution, Anderson gives an interesting inside look at the formulation of policy during the campaign, the critical transition period between election and inauguration, and the implementation of the Reagan policies.

Many of the myths surrounding Reaganomics are refuted with actual documentation from the era. For example, the idea that Reagan projected that tax revenues would immediately increase after his tax cuts is disproved using the actual budget projections that Reagan delivered to Congress. The myth that Reagan deliberately ran deficits to deter further spending is similarly punctured.

Anderson gives personal insight into how Reagan thought and worked, how he prepared for debates and spoke in public, and how he consulted policy advisers in the White House. Any reader will conclude the book with increased admiration for Reagan as a policy leader, not just as a public figure and communicator. For example, the idea of defense against ICBM attacks (the Strategic Defense Initiative) was a personal passion of Reagan's since the 1976 campaign. The reader will also have much greater knowledge of how the executive branch actually works.

However, the book is not hagiography. Anderson reveals the tragic flaw in Reagan's modus operandi. Every president must delegate extensively, and Reagan certainly did more than his share. As a result, those whom he trusted (notably William Casey) became rogue policy operatives, leading to the Iran-Contra scandal that paralyzed the administration for its final two years. The inside info on this operation is easily worth the price of the book.

For understanding the Reagan era, this book is indispensable.
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