Washington Post columnist Johnson here presents a stunning indictment of the Reagan administration that details its impact on social, economic and political life in America. He reviews abuses in the S&L institutions, in HUD, in the National Security Council, on Wall Street, in religious broadcasting and, most impressively, reveals how the administration renounced responsibility for ameliorating social distress. The book makes clear why the rich got richer and the poor poorer in the last decade. Johnson portrays President Reagan as a kind of Dr. Feelgood who fulfilled a public need for reassurance, and ironically evaded judgment during the Iran- contra affair because of his reputation for not being in charge. Summarizing what he sees as Reagan's legacy, the "ethical wastland of the eighties," the author points to growing fractionalization, subversion of the constitutional system, corruption and ineffectiveness of government, and cynicism and inattention of the American people. First serial to Vanity Fair.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Elegant prose, devastating insight and a keen historical perspective. -- Cleveland Plain DealerSee all Editorial Reviews
Excellent review of what made Reagan "tick" and his presidency. I really like how he explains the beginning of the theory about supply-side economics.Published 8 months ago by Boston Phil
Another excellent read. As far as I'm concerned, everything bad about America started with Reagan.Published 13 months ago by thomas farnham
What an amazing book to read now, in 2014. It supplies the groundwork for all that came later, from the privatizing of the military, prisons, etc. Read morePublished 15 months ago by CP
My political awakening occurred during Reagan's second term (a man I would have voted for in 1984 if I'd been old enough), and it was jarring. Read morePublished 21 months ago by TLR
As my daughter likes to say "I got to the party late." I finally got around to reading "Sleepwalking Through History," although we've had a copy since it was first released in... Read morePublished on December 15, 2012 by Marcus A. Lewis
This book is merely a hit piece on Reagan blaming him for ever percidved failure both real and imagined. Read morePublished on July 10, 2012 by Bob
This is a pretty interesting book for anybody who wants a quick look into the 1980s. While its concentration is on the political aspects of this wonderful decade, there is also a... Read morePublished on December 28, 2010 by Patrick Hall
This book is a detailed account of America in the 80s. Reagan faithful will claim it is bashing their hero, but they are missing the point. Read morePublished on July 26, 2010 by Holff
I have often contended that Ronald Reagan was the most over rated president during the second half of the twentieth century, and Haynes Johnson makes this case in his book. Read morePublished on September 27, 2007 by Hong Kong Phooey