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The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order: 1964-1980 Paperback – June 9, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
—Times Literary Supplement
“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.”
—Wall Street Journal
“Grand and fascinating history . . . goes far toward making the definitive historical case for Reagan’s greatness.”
Top Customer Reviews
Steven Hayward charts the death of small "L' liberalism (at the hands of the radical New Left) and the rise of the conservative tide which led to Reagan's victory in 1980. Much of the material has been printed before, but when it is all accumulated and is digested in full, the the effects are mind-boggling.
Thanks to Steven Hayward the history of the US from 1964 to 1980 comes alive in this absolutely brilliant book. As a Canadian, I found much of the material that related to the mid-sixties to early-seventies to be fascinating (even the economic portions were well done...and I'm no wizard with numbers!). Hayward's obvious dislike of the left's 'usual suspects' comes through on every page. Liberals may not like this book, but for the rest of us, it's a mighty fine read.
It is also highly recommended for anyone with an interest in the
ascendancy of the conservative movement in American politics. Starting with the Goldwater movement and then using Reagan as a catalyst, Hayward charts the progression (or regression, depending on your political bent) of the conservative movement in America.
Hayward is also to be commended for his writing style. Not writing in the needless academic jargon or pendatry of some history writers, "The Age of Reagan" moves along quickly but with a sufficient amount of depth into all the administrations. The two-fold narrative, one focusing on the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations while the other focusing on Reagan, moves swiftly without becoming entagled.
Nevertheless, Hayward does seem to have a slightly right-wing bias. He extensively rips apart the "progressive" left and their minions, especially student protesters and the McGovern movement. He quotes extensively from "National Review" (which is a great magazine, IMHO) and William F. Buckley, Jr.Read more ›
The period from Goldwater to Reagan was a tumultuous one. Liberalism seemed to reach its apogee with the landslide re-election of LBJ in 1964, followed by the last uninterrupted spurt of liberal legislation in 1965. At this very moment, students in Berkeley, California coalesced around the Free Speech Movement and launched a political tidal wave that was successful in deposing Johnson in 1968 and discrediting its' primary target, the managerial liberalism of Johnson and Robert McNamara.
If the antiwar movement was successful in driving a wedge through the heart of the liberal movement and the Democratic party, it was not successful in gaining converts in the overall electorate. Hayward's central insight, I think, is that despite all the mythology surrounding the student movement, it remained deeply unpopular in the rest of America. The antiwar movement was anathema to most Americans even after 1968. Hayward also successfully shows that LBJ lost the Vietnam War because he never really wanted to fight it to a final and complete victory. Rather, the goal was to apply "graduated pressure" which would result not in victory but a "negotiated settlement." The North Vietnamese understood perfectly well that the American effort was half-hearted, and calculated they could win the war simply by grinding it to a standstill.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have lived through these years as a young and later middle aged adult and thought that I had followed the politics of the times fairly well, but Hayward told me much that I... Read morePublished 14 months ago by D. Ashbaugh
Great book on politics and government. I would note that only the last chapters are about Reagan, most of the book focuses on the build up to Reagan, from Johnson and Goldwater... Read morePublished 19 months ago by NoJoJo
I enjoyed reading this book. It gives an overview of cultural, economical and political developments during the era of Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter in the United States. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Rene Verheij
In depth scholarship and sets the scene for why Reagan was so important in our country's history.I learned things about many politicians I didn't know much about and that they... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dan T
The title might give the impression that this work (in two volumes) is all about Reagan. In fact it's not. Read morePublished on February 17, 2014 by Andy
I'm a Reagan fan. I voted for him in 1984, shortly after I turned 18. Heyward's book was tremendously enlightening for educating me on the events and environment of those years... Read morePublished on February 15, 2014 by L. Kennedy
Well written. Places Ronald Reagan in historic perspective as he looks at Jack Kennedy, LBJ, and Richard Nixon, the successes and failures of his Administration. Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by J. L. Penfold