From Ronald to Donald

How the Myth of Reagan Became the Cult of Trump

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About the Book

On November 4, 1980, Ronald Reagan entered the White House with an Electoral College landslide. Like most compelling mythologies, Reagan’s was a synthesis of celebrity as well as multiple emotional, intellectual, and cultural streams. Throughout his eight years in the oval office, the “Great Communicator” was largely successful in shaping the soul of America to reflect his durable mantra that “government is the problem.” That same American soul later embraced Donald Trump—a president who, the authors argue, would have appalled Reagan—and his mantra of “Make America Great Again.”
Reagan’s myth persists, and by understanding his time in office in the context of American history and of the American presidency, we can understand how a transformative president created more than policy by also shaping culture with the instrumental force of mythology. This book attempts to neither praise nor bury Reagan but to explain him in objective, non-partisan terms of contemporary popular mythology. The authors examine Reagan’s legacy in his war on “big government,” which still drives politics, economic policy, and culture, even in Trump’s era. They make the case that understanding the mythology at work is a necessary step toward the return of reality to American politics.

About the Author(s)

Ed Oswald is an attorney who lives in Bethesda, Maryland. He served as an attorney-advisor in the United States Treasury’s Office of Tax Legislative Counsel during the Clinton Administration. He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and a former board member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers.
Alan Axelrod is the author or coauthor of 160 books. He has been a featured speaker at the Conference on Excellence in Government, the Leadership Institute of Columbia College, the Annual Conference of the Goizueta School of Business, Emory University, and the 2014 annual conference of Ecopetrol (Bogota, Colombia) and has appeared on television and radio as an expert on historical subjects.

Bibliographic Details

Edwin G. Oswald and Alan Axelrod
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9032-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5062-3
Imprint: McFarland