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Reagan's Legacy in a World Transformed

by Jeffrey Chidester and Paul Kengor Harvard University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 312 pages
AU$84.00 NZ$87.83
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Since Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, the global community has witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the integration of Europe, the War on Terror and the Arab Spring, a hot Chinese economy and a major international recession. Reagan’s Legacy in a World Transformed brings together scholars from diverse disciplines and persuasions to assess the fortieth president’s policies and their ongoing impact today, and to offer a timely retrospective on his complex legacy.


The authors consider the influence of Reagan’s free-market ideas on economic globalization, showing how deregulation succeeded in spurring economic expansion. In foreign policy, Reagan favored significant increases in military spending (“peace through strength”) and an assertive agenda abroad. His break with détente in dealing with the Soviet Union, notably expressed in his 1982 March of Freedom speech, effectively restored the early Cold War strategy of rolling back communism. More than twenty years later, President George W. Bush invoked this speech in describing his goals in the Middle East—a striking example of how Reagan’s ideas affected the post-9/11 world.


In contrast with his hawkish stance on defense, Reagan’s efforts to reduce nuclear arsenals, negotiated with Mikhail Gorbachev, constitute one of his enduring contributions to stability. Although Reagan’s policies soared on rhetoric rooted in ideological conviction, the president engaged in pragmatic internationalism when a multilateral approach served America’s interests. He believed that America had a special mission as a moral leader and beacon of freedom, a view that continues to inform U.S. fForeign policy
Jeffrey Chidester and Paul Kengor have assembled an outstanding set of analysts to examine the presidency and ongoing impact of Ronald Reagan, who continues to stand as one of the most important political figures of the twentieth century. These authors may differ on how Reagan changed the world, but they leave little question that he did. Andrew E. Busch, Claremont McKenna College
Jeffrey Chidester is Director of Policy Programs at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. Paul Kengor is Professor of Political Science and Executive Director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College. Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993. Paul Kengor is Professor of Political Science and Executive Director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College. Barry E. Carter is Professor of Law and Director of the Center on Transnational Business and the Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Jeffrey Chidester is Director of Policy Programs at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. Eliot A. Cohen is Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies and Director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Alfred E. Eckes, Jr., is Ohio Eminent Research Scholar in Contemporary History and Professor of History at Ohio University. Kim R. Holmes is Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, and Director of The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation. Henry R. Nau is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the US-Japan-South Korea Legislative Exchange Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. Kiron K. Skinner is Associate Professor of Social and Decision Sciences and Director of the Center for International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University. Peter Trubowitz is Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. Julian Zelizer is Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University.