- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (August 28, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0742520536
- ISBN-13: 978-0742520530
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#3,693,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2180 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Leadership
- #6177 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Conservatism & Liberalism
- #6440 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > General
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Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Freedom
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The Amazon Book Review
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Busch makes a powerful case, based on impeccable research, that Reagan was a statesman of high rank, with a coherent and intelligent vision of human liberty. His presidency successfully challenged the dominant liberalism of his time by returning to the Founders' constitutionalism, based on principles of rational liberty, equality of individual rights, and government by consent of the governed. (Thomas G. West)
Liberals dismiss and denigrate him and his presidency, conservatives lionize him and his record, but in such an ideologically charged atmosphere, on what basis can we evaluate the man and his record? In this well written book, Andrew Busch gives us an answer. Judging Reagan by the very standards he himself established for his presidency―did he contribute to the scope and vitality of human freedom in America?―is at once innovative and simple common sense. In applying just such standards to the Reagan legacy and the 1980s, Busch reminds us of Reagan's importance in the renewal of America's 'architecture of freedom.' (Gary Gregg, University of Louisville)
While journalistic and fanciful accounts of Ronald Reagan's presidency abound, Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Freedom is the only comprehensive study produced by an eminent political scientist. This thoughtful and thought-provoking work holds the Reagan presidency to the highest standards of statesmanship and finds it passing with honors, indeed high honors in foreign policy, the economy, constitutionalism, and national morale. Busch has caught some of Reagan's optimism, but his book is no hagiography; it is serious scholarship presented in clear prose. (Ken Masugi, Claremont Institute)
The re-writing of the Reagan years and the power of his legacy is now underway―and this book by Andrew Busch is a major contribution to that effort. (Martin Anderson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University)
For its intellingent and scrappy defense of Reagan's economic, social, and defense policies, Busch's volume wins a place on the short shelf of indispensable books about the Reagan years. (Claremont Review of Books)
Of all the books written praising or blaming Ronald Reagan, Andrew Busch's book is the best account of Ronald Reagan's understanding of his own statesmanship and the most comprehensive account of the architectonic character of that 'Statesmanship of Liberty'. (Mickey Craig, Hillsdale College)
The ordered liberty vantage point provides an interesting overview from which to see the Reagan presidency as well as its egalitarian and libertarian critics. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. (CHOICE)
Andrew E. Busch is the first scholar to assess Reagan's presidency by the goal he set for himself: enhancing American freedom. (Conservative Book Club)
About the Author
Andrew E. Busch is associate professor of political science at the University of Denver. He is also the co-author of The Perfect Tie: The True Story of the 2000 Election with James Ceaser.
Top customer reviews
It seems that these would be simple things to prove, since they are self-evident to most of those who lived through the 1980s. The author, however, perhaps because he is a professor of political science, goes to great lengths to do so in an even handed way. He does this by not going straight to the heart of the matter, sticking to his objectives, and systematically driving home his points one after another as one might expect. Instead, he examines Reagan's presumed goals and the results of his efforts interspersed with the pros and cons of every issue as expressed by the various pundits of the time. This makes for informative but somewhat disjointed and often tedious reading.
From this mass of material, Mr. Busch then draws what seem to be rather narrow conclusions based on the weight of evidence. Then, in many instances, he goes still farther and second guesses his own conclusions (e.g. Did Reagan meet all of his objectives? Could he have done more? Was this really a change for the better? Would his policies have a lasting effect? Etc.). This has the effect of tempering and confusing his final suppositions. And by examining every facet of every issue, he simply tells us more than most of us really wanted to know.
He does, however, make many salient points, particularly with regard to the use and misuse of data and statistics to further one's political agenda and the ends to which political activists will go to win their argument. But many of these points are so deeply imbedded in the pros and cons of the various issues that readers, like blind pigs rooting around for truffles, must find them and dig them out for themselves.
Bottom line - This is a somewhat difficult read which I wouldn't recommend it to the average casual reader. I would, however, recommend it to anyone studying political science, politics, or economics, or who is seeking to better understand the Reagan revolution and its impact on America's political scene.