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Working Class Republican
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Working Class Republican
Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism
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In this sure to be controversial book in the vein of The Forgotten Man, a political analyst argues that conservative icon Ronald Reagan was not an enemy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal,...
In this sure to be controversial book in the vein of The Forgotten Man, a political analyst argues that conservative icon Ronald Reagan was not an enemy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal,...
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  • In this sure to be controversial book in the vein of The Forgotten Man, a political analyst argues that conservative icon Ronald Reagan was not an enemy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal, but his true heir and the popular program's ultimate savior.

    Conventional political wisdom views the two most consequential presidents of the twentieth-century—FDR and Ronald Reagan—as ideological opposites. FDR is hailed as the champion of big-government progressivism manifested in the New Deal. Reagan is seen as the crusader for conservatism dedicated to small government and free markets. But Henry Olsen argues that this assumption is wrong.

    In Ronald Reagan: New Deal Republican, Olsen contends that the historical record clearly shows that Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal itself were more conservative than either Democrats or Republicans believe, and that Ronald Reagan was more progressive than most contemporary Republicans understand. Olsen cuts through political mythology to set the record straight, revealing how Reagan—a longtime Democrat until FDR's successors lost his vision in the 1960s—saw himself as FDR's natural heir, carrying 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.

    Olsen corrects faulty assumptions driving today's politics. Conservative Republican political victories over the last thirty years have not been a rejection of the New Deal's promises, he demonstrates, but rather a representation of the electorate's desire for their success—which Americans see as fulfilling the vision of the nation's founding. For the good of all citizens and the GOP, he implores Republicans to once again become a party of "FDR Conservatives"—to rediscover and support the basic elements of FDR (and Reagan's) vision.

About the Author-

  • Henry Olsen is an incisive political analyst and a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington, DC, think tank. He is a regular contributor to such leading publications as The National Review, The Weekly Standard, National Affairs, Commentary, The National Interest, The American Interest, and The Claremont Review of Books. He has also published op-eds and book reviews in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and The Washington Examiner.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Listeners follow the reasonable argument that by employing sincerity, common sense, and carefully placed enthusiasm, President Reagan successfully attracted both Republican and Democratic voter support. Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, supports a cogent argument that Reagan's enthusiastic admiration for FDR and the New Deal strongly influenced his political choices and core beliefs. Derek Shetterly's workmanlike, appropriately paced narration is highly listenable. While some may find the arguments provocative and controversial, those who don their earbuds with open minds and ears will be richly rewarded with an articulate, stylish, and entertaining political, but quite human, discussion. W.A.G. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    June 15, 2017

    Few figures in modern American political history are as revered and lionized on the Right and as demonized on the Left as former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. In his first book, political analyst Olsen (senior fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Ctr.) makes a detailed pilgrimage through Reagan's history to illustrate and defend the primary principles of conservativism that he argues Reagan grew to believe in and embodied. Olsen's work intercuts Reagan's achievements with his overarching views and beliefs that represent the leader's legacy. Moreover, Olsen uses these principles to extrapolate the ways the former president would have voted or fallen on current issues, and how he should be interpreted by a modern audience, Republicans and conservatives in particular. He concludes with reviewing prominent members of the current Republican Party and identifying where they fall short in creating a Reagan coalition. VERDICT A solid contribution to the Reagan literature, this book is an appeal to a conservative audience to return to the policies and principles that made Reagan a successful figurehead.--Laurel Tacoma, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism
Henry Olsen
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