The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008

The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008

Sean Wilentz Dick Hill / May 28, 2020

The Age of Reagan A History In The Age of Reagan Sean Wilentz offers a fresh brilliant chronicle of America s political history since the fall of Nixon The past thirty five years have marked an era of conservatism Although bri

  • Title: The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008
  • Author: Sean Wilentz Dick Hill
  • ISBN: 9781400107582
  • Page: 165
  • Format: Audio CD
  • In The Age of Reagan, Sean Wilentz offers a fresh, brilliant chronicle of America s political history since the fall of Nixon The past thirty five years have marked an era of conservatism Although briefly interrupted in the late 1970s and temporarily reversed in the 1990s, a powerful surge from the Right has dominated American politics and government Wilentz accounts foIn The Age of Reagan, Sean Wilentz offers a fresh, brilliant chronicle of America s political history since the fall of Nixon The past thirty five years have marked an era of conservatism Although briefly interrupted in the late 1970s and temporarily reversed in the 1990s, a powerful surge from the Right has dominated American politics and government Wilentz accounts for how an extreme conservative movement once deemed marginal managed to seize power and hold it, and the momentous consequences that followed Ronald Reagan has been the single most important political figure of this age Without Reagan, the conservative movement would never have been as successful as it was In his political persona, as well as his policies, Reagan embodied a new fusion of deeply right leaning politics with some of the rhetoric and even the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt s New Deal and of John F Kennedy s New Frontier In American political history, there have been a few figures who, for better or worse, have placed their political stamp indelibly on their times They include Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan A conservative hero in a conservative age, Reagan is either so admired by a minority of historians or so disliked by the others that it has been difficult to evaluate his administration with detachment The Age of Reagan raises profound questions and opens passionate debate about our nation s recent past.

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      Published :2020-02-03T19:15:31+00:00

    About "Sean Wilentz Dick Hill"

      • Sean Wilentz Dick Hill

        Sean Wilentz b 1951 is the Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor of History at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1979In his spare writing time, he is historian in residence at Bob Dylan s official website, bobdylan


    1. i have this theory that whoever is president in your formative years, whoever is president when you are at a certain age, remains, to some degree, the standard of what a statesman should look like. (sucks for kids now, huh?)i remember, as a child, laying in my den and reagan's grandfatherly, comforting presence spilled all over the room night after night. (little did i know that that confused and endearing succession of "i can't remember" was in reference to something pretty sinister!) -- years [...]

    2. An excellent chronicle of events that's marred, not by Wilentz's take on Reagan, which is as positive as any objective viewer could wish, but by his defense of Clinton, whose various actual misdeeds are buried in the narrative of Republican lunacy that focused on his penis instead of his politics. Another reviewer has suggested, disapprovingly, that "this book is intended for students of political history, but clearly not for republicans." Well, yes. It's usually a good sign when a book about r [...]

    3. Sean Wilentz chronicles the political history of the United States from 1974 through the election of 2000, with an epilogue that carries the story through 2008, summarizing the principal consequences of the administration of George W. Bush. He argues that Ronald Reagan was the dominant political figure of the era, bringing into its own a conservative revolution that had its origins in the 1964 presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater.Wilentz suggests that the Reagan administration was a signific [...]

    4. The narrative in Age of Reagan is engaging; but the book is, nonetheless, disappointing. Author Sean Wilentz, (a Democrat, a witness during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, and an adviser to Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign) gives the impression in his introduction that the reader should not necessarily expect a steady stream of criticism toward Reagan and, perhaps, may reasonably expect some favorable commentary. He writes:"The conclusions I have reached differ greatly from [...]

    5. If you are looking for an explanation of what's happened and why in the past 30 years this book is for you!I've searched my own mind in the course of the present economic crisis to try to recall just when we embraced this culture of greed. I knew there was a fundamental change, just couldn't pin it down. Thought deep down that basic changes began when Reagon became President. Then I found this book and all my suspicions were confirmed, only worse.Then in the course of traveling to all corners of [...]

    6. I am fairly sure that this is not technically a work of history; lacking significant primary sources (Wilentz spurned interviews and Bush has denied access to primary documents going back to the early Cold War), this is instead a polemic on the politics of Wilentz’s life. Had Wilentz approached the book as a memoir-polemic, he may have been on to something. However, by trying to shoe horn half a lifetime of political opinions into a history of Reagan and Reaganism, he has written an oddly holl [...]

    7. i was initially gonna give this two or three stars because wilentz is just one of those highly paid consensus historians who gets the nyt op-eds a hipster slob historian like me deserves, but this is actually a perfectly serviceable overview of the reagan era (i actually used it in a freshman survey course, and my naifs totally got the point). there's some curious editorializing on wilentz's part, and he doesn't engage intellectually with a lot of this material in the way that andrew hartman doe [...]

    8. Readable, well-researched, unpretentious.The chapter on Iran-Contra is fantastic. The rest of the stuff on the Reagan presidency is solid and even-handed. The parts about Carter and Bush I are okay; the parts about Clinton and Bush II are not good at all.A totally political history (as in "what high-level politicians were doing), really an overview of whatever was in the New York Times, without much real digging and absolutely no social perspective. A bigger flaw: the Reagan Revolution wasn't as [...]

    9. Listened to this book on Audible on walks in Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston. Called to mind many forgotten episodes in American political history. It is also a very good overview of the conservative era that brings some perspective to our current political impasse. Recommended reading as a curative for nostalgia. Would be a great reading for a course on the American Conservative Movement.

    10. Everyone knows that Donald Trump is a cruel, pathetic human who is well on the way to being the worst president in United States history. Living in America during his fucked-up shitshow of a presidency is an endeavor, and it's the custom of most sensible people during these troubled times to think about the olden days when the most powerful person in the world was someone capable of reading a book. But just how much of a deviation is Trump from the shitty conservative standard pioneered by Nixon [...]

    11. This synthesis of political history in the last 20 years is kind of a mixed bag, but it is worth checking out for certain people. Liberals like me will be strongly inclined to agree with Wilentz' highly negative take on RR and his generally positive view of Clinton. Wilentz definitely could have toned the rhetoric and obvious bias down and he still would have had a strong argument that the GOP has become the crazier and less competent party. There are some chapters in here devoted entirely to ke [...]

    12. Interesting history of the last quarter of the twentieth century. Argues that Reagan created a dynamic where he was able to starve government by cutting taxes and thus killing any chance of another New Deal increase in government. The portion from 2000 to 2008 seems a little brief. Wilentz tells readers at the beginning that it will be brief, but it seems so brief as to not be necessary. As he approaches the contemporaneous period, he increasingly has trouble meeting his goal of maintaining a hi [...]

    13. Sean Wilentz is best known for his political and social histories of 19th century America, most recently The Rise of American Democracy. Why, then, would this Princeton historian tackle the most contemporary of political histories? His motives seep through The Age of Reagan, a work that reads critically but fairly of its main subject. Despite the book’s title—a clear nod to Schlesinger's The Age of Jackson—Wilentz contends that Reaganism cannot be synonymous with conservatism. Instead, Rea [...]

    14. For Sean Wilentz, the era from Nixon's presidency, through to the present, is marked by a sharp rise of conservatism, embodied in Ronald Reagan. "The Age of Reagan" traces that conservative trend and how it differs from previous trends in American history. The book clearly comes from a leftist perspective, and like most journalist histories, Wilentz is not in the archives looking at primary sources. His sketch of the period is quite broad, but he is convincing in identifying several of the large [...]

    15. My book reviews dropped precipitously over the last several months due to my ill advised decision to attempt Tristam Shandy & Tom Jones- both of which are 18th century brit lit well in excess of 500 near unintelligible pages.I decided to switch gears into United States politics when I read a review of Sean Wilentz's "The Age of Reagan: A History 1974-2008." Willentz wrote the amazing Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850, in 1986, but since th [...]

    16. We were all supposed to read Wilentz's path-breaking Chants Democratic in grad school and never did. (Sorry, Robin.) Maybe I will get around to it someday. This encouraged me. Wilentz writes a pretty vivid political history of this period that reads history both backward and forward: in light of the recent revisions of Reagan in the light of Bush (eg he said all these crazy things but didn't really do them, unlike GWB, who both spoke crazy and acted crazy), Wilentz points out that Reagan's peopl [...]

    17. Useless book. There already is an Age of Reagan by Stephen Hayward which is far longer at two volumes at over 1,000 pages. Wilentz chose a weird starting point for the age of Reagan, 1974 after the downfall of Nixon and the continuing rise of the new right in the 1970s. By completely bypassing Nixon, no real account of the return of the Republican Party can be understood. Nixon helped create the electoral coalition of the Reagan years and had a role in the 1966 midterms which presaged voter back [...]

    18. When I first saw that Sean WIlentz, the respected historian of book "The Rise of American Democracy," was publishing a history of the past 30 years of political history, I was very excited and bought it as soon as it was available. Now, having just finished it, I am very disappointed in it. Whereas his previous book was meticulous and painstakingly detail oriented, with nearly one footnote for every paragraph written, this book is short and offers very little in terms of footnotes. Wilentz is al [...]

    19. A straightforward narrative political history of the United States from the aftermath of Watergate to the administration of George W. Bush. For Sean Willentz, this is the “age of Reagan,” so named for the influence Reagan exerted and continues to exert. For good or ill (and I think one could make a good case either way), Reagan reshaped political discourse, recast American conservatism, and brought about a paradigm shift in our politics. Willentz analyzes events from a mainstream liberal per [...]

    20. A perfectly competent and readable account of the successes and failures of the six presidents between Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. I didn't feel like the title was justified by the text - it didn't really present Reagan as the central figure of the era, just one in a series of more-or-less flawed presidents. In this narrative Reagan was elected as a result of Carter's failures rather than on his own strengths, or as the expression of a successful conservative movement. The attention to histo [...]

    21. Wilentz approaches his subject as historian; this is a work of analysis not hagiography. The conditions that brought Reagan to power and the echoes of his colleagues and fellow-travelers (Bushs, Rumsfeld, etc.) mark the gamut of the Age of this study. I was very young when Reagan ruled, but I wasn't too you to recall the hue and cry over his militarism (Granada, Libya), expenditure (SDI), etc. So, I was a bit suprised to his funeral handled like that of a passing saint. Wilentz helps to explain [...]

    22. Not the most objective of books, perhaps this is a book that should have been left for another few years and writen by a another historian, Sean Wilentz was never going to be able to be unbiased.As some one liberal minded myself and have come of age in the late 80's I found this to be a very good read. Being able to personally relate to many of the key events does provide a level of introspection that other political history books set before 1982 fail to provide.The book did give me some new per [...]

    23. Can a self-identified liberal and Democratic political operative write a balanced history of a conservative movement and era? The answer it seems, is mostly yes. Wilentz does a solid job of chronicling the rise of conservative Republicanism and explaining the strength of its most influential figure, the titular Reagan. He indulges in neither demonizing nor hagiography, and while he is highly critical of episodes in Reagan's presidency, he is equally severe in citing the mistakes of Carter and Cl [...]

    24. I believe that a title like this would sound misleading. It is a book about the political timeline from 1974-2008. Reagan set a tone in the politics of America more any.

    25. As one of my friends put it, "a perfectly serviceable overview of the reagan era." If you don't know much about political history over the past 40 years (which isn't something to be ashamed of), you will enjoy this book and get a lot out of it.For my part, I used to be a political junkie before the dysfunction of DC disillusioned me and caused me to cut my consumption of political news to a trickle. I have been and continue to be a history junkie. As a result, there was little in _The Age of Re [...]

    26. Wilentz provides an engaging narrative spanning the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43. This narrative is more or less coherent until he reaches Clinton, when the chapters become increasingly long on conclusions and short on analysis. Indeed, the entire Bush 43 presidency is dispensed in the epilogue--remarkable given his conclusion that in many ways, W's two terms represent the culmination of the "Age of Reagan." Although Wilentz covers the financial coll [...]

    27. Pretty good synopsis of the major American political events between Ford and G.W Bush, although there is very little detail about the second Bush admiinstration. The book really covers 1974 to 2000, with a short discussion of 9/11 in the early part of Bush's first term.The book is somewhat objective, but is certainly written with a very left slanted bias. The majority of the book centers on the Reagan and Clinton years. While the book certainly gives Reagan his due for his accomplishments and th [...]

    28. I expected this book to focus specifically on President Reagan and the modern conservative movement, however it's broader than that. Wilentz examines the impacts and legacy of the Presidents from Nixon through G.W. Bush. The author has attempted an element of fairness, praising the good and condemning the bad in each of the past administrations. Of course, since this is a political topic, people with strong party feelings from either side of the aisle will find fault with the authors criticism o [...]

    29. Absolute drivel. I didn't even finish it, though I pushed myself many hours past where I wanted to quit it just to see if it would improve. It did not.The author proclaimed himself to be a democrat and also to be in some ways involved in some of the story, but insisted that he could be impartial. He was far from it.I was young during Reagan's presidency and was only just becoming politically aware, but even if I was reading this and I wasn't born for another 100 years, it would strike me statist [...]

    30. First-rate political history albeit limited by the "political." More than a bio of Reagan, this is really "The Rise and Fall of Reagan Conservatism." Its time frame (1974-2008) is interesting and heartening for those of us who yearn for a new age. While author Wilentz debunks the notion that Reagan won the Cold War by spending the Soviets into the ground -- in fact, the USSR cut its defense budget after leaving Afghanistan -- he did come to appreciate Reagan's genuine abhorrence of nucelar weapo [...]

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