The Age of Reagan

  • by Sean Wilentz
  • Narrated by Dick Hill
  • 22 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In The Age of Reagan, Sean Wilentz offers a fresh, brilliant chronicle of America's political history since the fall of Nixon. The past 35 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.


What the Critics Say

"Eloquent and compelling....[A] superb account." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Impressive Achievement

This is an exceptionally coherent, balanced, and insightful account of the years leading up to, and then after Ronald Reagan's presidency. I was not a fan of Reagan's nor of recent attempts to immortalize him as a wise seer. But Wilenz gives the man his due while also providing a brisk and memorable narrative of the sour, often heartbreaking, sometimes inspiring years that we have lived through since Carter was president. The reader is excellent. I would recommend the book to anyone who wants to look into, or look out from the Reagan years and beyond.
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- John

Partisan interpretation of history

I was hoping for an objective analysis of the period I grew up in with both the pros and the cons of the various administrations outlined in a non-partisan way. That's not what I got. The author is clearly apolegetic to any Democratic miscues while attributing nefarious intent by secret cabals to anything Republican. In that sense it was disappointing but the book did provide a fairly thorough chronology of the important events of the last 40 years. By the end of the book and the review of the Bush administration, however, I found myself rolling my eyes at the constant perjorative analysis of all things Bush - the same tripe that has kept the liberal base enflamed for the past 8 years. A historian should be objective and minimize personal opinions in favor of a tempered, even-handed accounting of the events of the period. If you're a Blue Stater you should enjoy this book.
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- Chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-03-2008
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio