posted June 8, 2004
Former United States President Ronald W. Reagan died this past weekend, following a 10-year battle with Alzheimers disease. Reagan, whose popularity and success instituted the "Reagan Revolution" in American politics -- a resurgance to power of the Republican Party and a reinvigoration of the American presence in global politics -- was the 40th President of the United States, serving from 1981 to 1988.
Born and raised in Illinois, Reagan made a name for himself in both "A-" and "B-movies" during the era of Hollywood's "studio system," and served as president of the Screen Actors Guild. His experiences with SAG and as a film industry spokesman convinced him to enter California politics. After serving two terms as California's Governor, Reagan made multiple runs for the White House, eventually capitalizing on the voting public's displeasure with the incumbant democratic Jimmy Carter presidency to win the 1980 Presidential race. Under Reagan's leadership and influence, the Republican party sought to reduce the size of government and reduce taxes, while at the same time increasing military spending and making the United States a much more powerful presence on the global peacekeeping stage than it had been since the 1960s. Reagan survived an assassination attempt early in his Presidency (1981), but will probably be best remembered as the man who "won the Cold War without a single shot being fired" -- Reagan's military build-up and hard-line stance on arms control in the mid-1980s, combined with a new progressive government in the Soviet Union, ultimately contributed to the tearing down of the Berlin wall and the dissolution of the USSR.
After eight years in the White House, filled with major accomplishments (the reduced influence of Communism abroad), global crises (terrorist attacks, including the bombing of a Marine HQ in Beirut that resulted in 241 deaths) and occasional blemishes (such as the Iran-Contra affair, and the tripling of the national debt to fund military growth), Reagan left office in 1988 to settle into civilian life. In 1994, in a letter to the American people, Ronald Reagan revealed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease -- an incurable condition that results in the gradual deterioration of mental faculties. In his private life, sequestered from public view, Reagan became perhaps the most public example of a disease that has plagued society for decades, and Americans across the spectrum of society could sympathize with his wife and family as reports of his decline were released to the press. Despite the shadow over his final years, Reagan's skills as "the Great Communicator" and his ability to both connect with the common man and achieve political consensus will ensure him a place as one of America's most notable Presidents.
We list here a sampling of the hundreds of books, videos, audiotapes and other material about Ronald Reagan in the Lincoln City Libraries' collection. For even more material about Reagan, his Presidency and the period of American history from the Reagan era, we encourage you to search our on-line catalog under any of the following subect headings: Reagan, Ronald ; United States -- Politics and Government -- 1981-1989 (Reagan) ; Conservativism ; Presidents -- Biography -- 1900-1999 or United States -- History -- 1981-1989 (Reagan).
The links in this section of this list will take you directly into the items' entries in the catalog of the Lincoln City Libraries, where you can check on the items' availability throughout the library system.
The following databases and/or webliographies on the Lincoln City Libraries site can be used to access numerous articles and/or links to additional resources on-line. [If you have difficulty using these databases, please contact the Reference Department at 441-8530 for assistance.]
Additional on-line resources about Ronald Reagan, his Presidency and his legacy:
* Please Note: The presence of a link on this site does not constitute an endorsement by Lincoln City Libraries.
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