- Paperback: 768 pages
- Publisher: Crown Forum; Reprint edition (November 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400053587
- ISBN-13: 978-1400053582
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.6 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution: 1980-1989 Paperback – November 2, 2010
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Praise for Steven F. Hayward’s The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964—1980
“Grand and fascinating history . . . The Age of Reagan goes far towards making the definitive historical case for Reagan’s greatness.”
“Reads at times like a grand historical drama, a kind of War and Peace of the American century, complete with romance and adventure and tragic characters, a thrilling survey of what we might have thought to be familiar history but which appears here quite transformed.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“A massive achievement . . . It is hard to imagine anyone doing better. . . . Mr. Hayward leaves us awed by his achievement and looking forward hungrily to Volume II.”
“Excellent . . . [Hayward] acknowledges Mr. Reagan’s sunny personality and ease in public, but he dismisses these as significant factors in his election. What mattered was Mr. Reagan’s unflinching conservatism and strong character, coupled with liberalism’s failures. Mr. Hayward is persuasive on this point.”
—Wall Street Journal
“A big, bold, ambitious book by one of the rising stars of the conservative intellectual movement, Steven F. Hayward . . . The best historical biography yet written about our fortieth president.”
—World and I
“An invaluable contribution to the small but growing body of serious work that finally gives Reagan his due. Readers not only will profit immensely from reading this first volume, but will long for the publication of the next.”
“A magnificent new history of our times. It is a big book in every way and yet it reads quickly and delightfully. . . . The Age of Reagan is the best single-volume account of Reagan’s rise and liberalism’s fall. This superb book deserves and undoubtedly will get a wide readership.”
—Claremont Review of Books
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
STEVEN F. HAYWARD is the author of The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964—1980, the first of two volumes on Ronald Reagan and his political legacy. He has also written Greatness: Reagan, Churchill, and the Making of Extraordinary Leaders; The Real Jimmy Carter; and Churchill on Leadership. He is an F. K. Weyerhaeuser fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute. He divides his time between Washington, D.C., and California.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Many people--including some committed liberal scholars Hayward quotes--think more highly of Reagan now than they did when he left office, for two reasons the author notes:
1) The "dramatic and unexpected end of the Cold War, and the demise of the Soviet Union, for which even Reagan's critics allow him a substantial role in the outcome" and
2) "the revelation of Reagan's extensive writings--radio addresses, letters, speeches, and finally his personal diary--which displayed a lively and informed mind and a greater depth of character than hitherto imagined. . .At long last we had found the rest of him."
Hayward makes good use of Reagan's own writings, which became available between 2001 and 2007, integrating them into the narrative of the broad sweep of the history of these years and giving us the flavor of Reagan's own thinking, decision-making, and sometimes frustrations with the foreign and domestic personalities with whom he was dealing.
Since Hayward wrote, even more of "the rest of him" has become available through recently declassified minutes of many of the National Security Council meetings Reagan chaired.
Hayward acknowledges that he's always been sympathetic to Reagan, but notes that he doesn't shrink from reporting weaknesses or criticizing errors or mistakes. I've found this claim fulfilled as I read the text. Hayward also gives us considerable insights into the political philosophies and debates that continue to this day. The best book yet about the Reagan era.
Any reader, regardless of persuasion, will profit from reading this fair and even handed piece, if anything to have a better (and more accurate) understanding of the president who was a game changer.
In this second volume of "The Age of Reagan," a book I suspected might be boring, the insights and the memories start flowing fast. Does anyone remember Jimmy's LAST press conference, where he blamed his own ineptitude and failure on the office of the Presidency itself? Nooooo. But that was the common wisdom in the Beltway those days: that the office of President had simply grown too large for any one man to fill. Government was too complex. Let's dump the Constitution, that rickety old-fashioned thing, and start anew.
One of Ronald Wilson Reagan's many accomplishments was to stop that sort of mindless chatter.
Another thing to warm the cockles of your heart is good old Reagan Derangement Syndrome (RDS). We have all been focused on BDS for so long that we tend to forget how much Reagan was hated. One memory returns to me...around 1986 I realized something, and told friends about it: even if Reagan discovered the cure for the common cold, the Democrats would continue hating him, and begin creating stories about how some unknown stooge had done it all while the REAL Ronald Reagan was sleeping.
Don't we all remember the over-arching theory, that Reagan was merely a marionette --- a simple-minded movie star who had been thrust into power by evil Fascists --- whose only duty was to carry out their orders? It is vastly amusing --- and reassuring --- to discover that this theory was totally wrong. Reagan was a charming, personally affable man, with a will of steel --- and a large, well-read personal library. He not only read books, he wrote them himself. It is an historical fact that Reagan had to DEFEAT those entrenched Republican interests in order to gain the Presidency, and another fact that he told his Cabinet: "I hate taxes, and Communism, and inflation. Now, get to work, and remember that the person who makes decisions around here is ME."
Steven Hayward recalls other facts that some journalists and historians would rather forget. Reagan's FIRST victory, over Peanut Jimmy, was a landslide! We all know that his second election campaign was a landslide, but how many remember his first? What makes Hayward's book even more enjoyable: he gives us copious citations from the Beltway Pundits before and after this Unexpected Event. These citations are, in retrospect, absolutely hilarious. Washington was TERRIFIED when Reagan came to town.
Well, I won't go on too long. Get this book and read it. You'll enjoy it immensely.
Highest possible recommendation!
This is a most comprehensive work and the author evidently has made a lot of research besides having a good insider knowledge. This second volume is a lot more long-winded and detailistic than the first, therefore less easy to read. That's the reason for 4 stars - not the quality of the information which is excellent. You will learn a lot of contemporary American History and the 20 years that transformed this country and its society.
It is difficult to write history in an objective manner. The author has made a conscious effort to bring a neutral point of view. The reader might agree or disagree with certain things, but it cannot denied that "The Age of Reagan" offers a lot of important facts about a President who changed America in a way very few expected. Very recommended!