Foreword Reviews

Reagan's Victory

The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right

Presidential Procession: The anecdotal journalistic accounts of presidential elections written by the late Theodore White, and Jack Germond, and Jules Witcover belong to an outmoded genre of political reporting. Their lengthy, personal narratives were popular when print journalism was the source of political news. For better or worse—and frequently worse—election analysis is now often reduced to meaningless television sound bites or unverified blog ramblings. That is why this new series, “American Presidential Elections,” from the University Press of Kansas, is most welcome.

The first entry, Reagan’s Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right*, by Andrew Busch (University Press of Kansas, 200 pages, 12 photographs, hardcover, $35.00, 0-7006-1407-9, softcover, $16.95, 0-7006-1408-7) is an illuminating investigation of this key contest, which brought Reagan and the Republican Party’s conservative wing to power. Busch, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and author of Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Freedom, offers an admiring but fair appraisal of Reagan’s victory over a hapless Jimmy Carter. A useful summation of the Reagan presidency, which, however, downplays the impacts of the huge deficits created by Reagan and the Iran-Contra scandal, is included. Nonetheless, Busch succeeds admirably in providing an election analysis that is concise and informative.

This first entry into the series predicts success for the entire slate when the polls close.

Reviewed by Karl Helicher

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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