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reagan Discussed on Planet Money
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American History Tellers
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#958: When Reagan Broke the Unions
#958: When Reagan Broke the Unions
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Lessons from Reagan: Bob Spitz
At a time of fractured politics and failed leadership, what lessons can be learned from Ronald Reagan-- one of the most significant presidents in our history?Considered a dangerous outsider by critics when he was elected in 1980, he appeared to be enthralled with happy endings and disinterested in many of the finer details of economic and social policy. And yet America's fortieth president presided over an economic boom and successful peace talks with the Soviet Union that helped lead to the end of the Cold War.Our guest, best-selling biographer Bob Spitz, is the author of "Reagan: An American Journey", a richly detailed, riveting, and carefully balanced account of a remarkable life. The book looks clearly at Reagan's policy failures on AIDS, Iran-Contra and Star Wars missile defense, as well as his achievements and great skill as a communicator. "Reagan came to power at a very important time in our history," Bob tells us. "We had come through the Vietnam War, Watergate, a succession of failed presidencies-- and the country needed someone to pick up its morale. Ronald Reagan was the right man at the right time."Unlike Donald Trump, another outsider with the aim of shaking things up and overturning establishment views of government, "Ronald Reagan didn't have a hostile bone in his body," says Bob. "Reagan was not a narcissist in any shape or form. He thought about the good of the American people above everything.
Aired 1 year ago 43:07
#472: Reagan, the Man
Like FDR or JFK, Ronald Reagan has become more of a symbol for many Americans than a flesh and blood person. For some heâ€™s the embodiment of all thatâ€™s good in America, while for others he's the very opposite. But beyond the political divides, who was Reagan, the man?My guest today spent five years researching and writing an epic, non-partisan biography that seeks to bring the abstraction of Reagan back down to earth. His name is Bob Spitz and his biography is Reagan: An American Journey. We begin our conversation discussing how Reaganâ€™s hardscrabble childhood in the Midwest and his familyâ€™s staunch progressive politics influenced his early political outlook. Bob then shares how a young Ronald Reagan showed signs of becoming "the Great Communicator" as a young man and how his charm and innate talent for speaking led to a successful career in radio and the movies. We then discuss why Reagan went from being a true believing Democratic New Dealer to being a leader in the burgeoning conservative movement in the 1960s. Bob delves into Reaganâ€™s leadership style as governor of California and President of the United States and the important role Nancy Reagan played throughout his political career. We end our conversation discussing Reaganâ€™s ultimate legacy.Get the show notes at aom.is/ronaldReagan.