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The working class Republican : Ronald Reagan and the return of blue-collar conservatism

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First edition.

"For 30 years the GOP has wrapped itself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan, winning national elections by appealing to free trade, low taxes and small government. Yet today the old Reagan coalition is falling apart, while its ideology has been rejected by the Republican base in favor of the nativist appeals of Donald Trump. Where should the party turn next? Ironically, answers political scientist Henry Olsen, to Reagan himself. Not the Reagan of conservative mythology, but the real Reagan - Reagan the fan of FDR and the supporter and ultimate savior of the New Deal. Reagan began his political career as a proud New Deal Democrat and an admirer of FDR. As Olsen shows in this sharply revisionist political biography, that admiration never changed, even as he eventually developed into an opponent of big government. It wasn't the New Deal that Regan objected to but LBJ's Great Society, which represented a massive expansion of state power in an attempt to solve social and economic problems best left to free market mechanisms. As such, Reagan never saw himself as FDR's political nemesis, but as his natural heir. Indeed Reagan built a philosophy that carried forward the basic promises of the New Deal -- that every American deserves comfort, dignity, and respect provided they work to the best of their ability. Neither party today truly understands what the New Deal represented - and still represents - to the American people. In fact, Olsen argues, the New Deal -- and Roosevelt himself -- were much more conservative than most Americans believe, while Reagan was much more progressive than most - conservatives and liberals alike - understand"--

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  • 2 of 2 copies available at OWWL.

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0 current holds with 2 total copies.
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Barcode Status /
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Bloomfield Public Library 973.92 Olsen (Text)
Adult Nonfiction
Mount Morris Library 973.92 Ols (Text)
Adult Nonfiction

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