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In an attempt to challenge the legend that has sprung up around Ronald Reagan's presidency over the past decade, Bunch, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, argues that the Reagan myth is dangerous because, unlike other American presidents held up as heroes, like Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson, reverence for Reagan did not emerge organically. Rather, the GOP hatched the Reagan myth, feeding it to the news media for purposes that were essentially partisan in nature... pulling off a maneuver that was unprecedented in American history. The result has been a simplified reconstruction of Reagan, from far from universally popular president to the man who ended the Cold War and spurred unprecedented economic growth. Bunch contends Reagan was responsible for neither, at least not singlehandedly. Instead, he claims that the 40th president's real achievement lay in his ability to compromise, an element of his leadership conservatives have ignored since he left office. Neither Bunch's arguments nor his prose are powerful enough to do more than slightly tarnish Reagan's halo, but his book capably puts into perspective an imperfect but fascinating administration. (Feb.)
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*Starred Review* The Ronald Reagan who won the cold war, cut taxes, shrank the government, saved the economy, and was the most beloved president since FDR is a myth, Bunch says. The cold war fizzled out primarily because of Soviet economic collapse. Reagan cut taxes just once, in 1991, and thereafter raised them yearly. He vastly expanded the government and burdened the economy with enormous deficits. Moreover, his approval ratings were just average, reflecting his divisiveness as a political figure. Bunch also shows that however tough-talking, Reagan was a negotiator who achieved nuclear arms reductions by talking with Soviet leader Gorbachev and got into the Iran-Contra mess because he wouldn’t send combat troops abroad. In practice, especially of foreign policy, he was a pragmatist, not an ideologue. The truculent jingoist of the myth was concocted after Alzheimer’s silenced the man and the would-be juggernaut launched by the GOP’s 1994 election triumph crashed and burned before a Democratic president who shrank government and the deficit, balanced the budget, and even racked up surpluses. Bunch names the leading, venal mythmakers and shames the myth exploiters, too. Anyone interested in America’s immediate future should read this book. --Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
An extremely informative book on our history and how President Reagan's legacy and policies has impacted our current economy. A great read!Published 26 days ago by AZHEALER
This is a great informational resource on our history, which explains much of why our economy is in the state it is today. A great read!Published 26 days ago by Barbara Yednak
An absolute must read for anyone wanting to understand the Reagan presidency and the neo-con mind. They hype just doesn't fit with the reality. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Golubev
Very quick read and fills in some details about Reagan. I thought it was even-handed even in its criticism and I came away with a more balanced view.Published 6 months ago by Under State
Nice. Will Bunch connects the dots as well as anyone, showing how we got where we are, and why, who benefits from the myth-making around this child in a man's suit. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Stepan Spoonwalla
Bunch is a Bunch of, Will, B.S., to be honest. The title gives away Bunch's B.S. Bias. Bunch has reified his emotional ideology into a world that exists mainly in his own mind. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Marvelous Mal
A worthy read. The author is fair to President Reagan, it is the myths that has been built up around Mr. Read morePublished 9 months ago by perry man