The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism
In October 1964, Ronald Reagan gave a televised speech in support of Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. "The Speech," as it has come to be known, helped launch Ronald Reagan as a leading force in the American conservative movement. However, less than twenty years earlier, Reagan was a prominent Hollywood liberal, the president of the Screen Actors Guild, and a fervent supporter of FDR and Harry Truman. While many agree that Reagan's anticommunism grew out of his experiences with the Hollywood communists of the late 1940s, the origins of his conservative ideology have remained obscure.
Based on a newly discovered collection of private papers as well as interviews and corporate documents, The Education of Ronald Reagan offers new insights into Reagan's ideological development and his political ascendancy. Thomas W. Evans links the eight years (1954-1962) in which Reagan worked for General Electricacting as host of its television program, GE Theater, and traveling the country as the company's public-relations envoy-to his conversion to conservatism.
In particular, Evans reveals the profound influence of GE executive Lemuel Boulware, who would become Reagan's political and ideological mentor. Boulware, known for his tough stance against union officials and his innovative corporate strategies to win over workers, championed the core tenets of modern American conservatism-free-market fundamentalism, anticommunism, lower taxes, and limited government. Building on the ideas and influence of Boulware, Reagan would soon begin his rise as a national political figure and an icon of the American conservative movement.
An elegant history of Reagan's 'studies' with General Electric.
John H. Fund
A revelation... Definitely worth reading for those who want to know how Ronald Reagan evolved into the 'Great Communicator' of political yore.
[ The Education of Ronald Reagan] fills a hole in Reagan's biography.
Evans's book is essential reading... a reasoned exploration of the shaping of an extraordinary political career.
Joseph C. Goulden
This fascinating study sheds new light on Reagan's ideological evolution.
A better companion to [ The Reagan Diaries].... By focusing on the decade or so when Reagan was a traveling spokesman for General Electrica period that he began as a Democrat and ended as a RepublicanEvans does a persuasive job of explaining where Reagan's political views came from.
Nicholas Lemann, New Yorker
The Education of Ronald Reagan admirably fills... [a] gap... One of the most illuminating books ever written about Reagan.
[ The Education of Ronald Reagan]provides fresh revelations on Reagan's ideological development... a 'must' for any college level collection.
Evans is undoubtedly correct to home in on the G.E. years as the key period in Reagan's self education.
Steven F. Hayward
Evans provides useful insight into Reagan's GE years and calls attention to the influence of Boulware.
I recommend strongly that you get the (book).
An important work that ought to be read.
Ronald W. Schatz
1. A New Dealer to the Core
2. Politics: War by Different Means
Part I. A Postgraduate Course in Political Science
4. The Plant Tour
5. Schools, Classes, and Trains
Part II. An Apprenticeship for Public Life
6. The Campaign
8. The Speech
9. Two Unions
10. The Art of Negotiation
Part III. To Encourage an Increasing Majority of Citizens
11. The Campaign Continues
12. The Presidential Bug
13. A President's Vision
Appendix. Speeches of Reuther, Boulware, and Reagan
Walter P. Reuther, Labor and the Community
Lemuel Boulware, Salvation Is Not Free
Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing ("The Speech")
Read Chapter 1 from The Education of Ronald Reagan, >A New Dealer to the Core