Tear down this myth: how the Reagan legacy has distorted our politics and haunts our future

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Free Press,
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In this provocative new book, award-winning political journalist Will Bunch unravels the story of how a right-wing cabal hijacked the mixed legacy of Ronald Reagan, a personally popular but hugely divisive 1980s president, and turned him into a bronze icon to revive their fading ideology. They succeeded to the point where all the GOP candidates for president in 2008 scurried to claim his mantle, no matter how preposterous the fit.

With clear eyes and an ever-present wit, Bunch reveals the truth about the Ronald Reagan legacy, including the following:

  • Despite the idolatry of the last fifteen years, Reagan's average popularity as president was only, well, average, lower than that of a half-dozen modern presidents. More important, while he was in office, a majority of Americans opposed most of his policies and by 1988 felt strongly that the nation was on the wrong track. Reagan's 1981 tax cut, weighted heavily toward the rich, did not cause the economic recovery of the 1980s. It was fueled instead by dropping oil prices, the normal business cycle, and the tight fiscal policies of the chairman of the Federal Reserve appointed by Jimmy Carter. Reagan's tax cut did, however, help usher in the deregulated modern era of CEO and Wall Street greed.
  • Most historians agree that Reagan's waste-ridden military buildup didn't actually "win the Cold War." And Reagan mythmakers ignore his real contributions -- his willingness to talk to his Soviet adversaries, his genuine desire to eliminate nuclear weapons, and the surprising role of a "liberal" Hollywood-produced TV movie.
  • George H. W. Bush's and Bill Clinton's rolling back of Reaganomics during the 1990s spurred a decade of peace and prosperity as well as the reactionary campaign to pump up the myth of Ronald Reagan and restore right-wing hegemony over Washington. This effort has led to war, bankrupt energy policies, and coming generations of debt.
  • With masterful insight, Bunch exposes this dangerous effort to reshape America's future by rewriting its past. As the Obama administration charts its course, he argues, it should do so unencumbered by the dead weight of misplaced and unearned reverence.

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    Grouping Information

    Grouped Work ID acfeb701-4b9d-fdf8-c2e7-bfb8569789c0
    full_title tear down this myth how the reagan legacy has distorted our politics and haunts our future
    author bunch william
    grouping_category book
    lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:25AM

    Solr Details

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    author Bunch, William.
    author-letter Bunch, William.
    author_additional Will Bunch.
    author_display Bunch, William
    availability_toggle_arlington Available Now, Entire Collection
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    callnumber-first E - United States History
    callnumber-subject E - United States History
    callnumber_sort_arlington 973.927 BUNCH
    collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
    date_added 2011-01-26T05:00:00Z
    days_since_added 2399
    detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Nonfiction
    display_description Bunch rolls back some of the worst distortions concerning the Reagan myth--that Reagan was one of the most popular modern presidents; that his tax cut caused the bull market of the 1980s; and that he won the Cold War--and examines the Gipper's conservatist legacy as it continues to impact America's political and economic situation.
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    local_callnumber_arlington 973.927 BUNCH
    local_callnumber_exact_arlington 973.927 BUNCH
    local_callnumber_left_arlington 973.927 BUNCH
    local_days_since_added_arlington 2399
    num_holdings 1
    oclc (OCoLC)277237857
    owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
    owning_location_arlington Central
    physical 276 p. ; 24 cm.
    popularity 3
    primary_isbn 141659762
    publishDate 2009
    publishDateSort 2009
    publisher Free Press,
    rating 2.5
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    record_details ils:.b13013336|Book|Books||English|Free Press,|2009.|276 p. ; 24 cm.
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    subject_facet United States -- Politics and government -- 1981-1989, United States -- Politics and government -- 1989-
    target_audience Adult
    target_audience_full Adult
    title Tear down this myth : how the Reagan legacy has distorted our politics and haunts our future
    title_display Tear down this myth : how the Reagan legacy has distorted our politics and haunts our future
    title_full Tear down this myth : how the Reagan legacy has distorted our politics and haunts our future / Will Bunch
    title_short Tear down this myth :
    title_sort tear down this myth how the reagan legacy has distorted our politics and haunts our future
    title_sub how the Reagan legacy has distorted our politics and haunts our future