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Movies And The Reagan Presidency

Author: Chris Jordan
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780275979676
Size: 80.50 MB
Format: PDF
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"The 1980s were unique in both American history and the history of American cinema. It was a time when a United States present - a former B-movie actor and Cold War industry activist - served as a catalyst for the coalescence of trends in Hollywood's political structure, mode of production, and film content. Ronald Reagan championed a success ethos that recognized economic and moral self-governance as the basis of a democratic society. His agenda of tax reform and industry deregulation simultaneously promoted the absorption of Hollywood's major studios into tightly diversified media conglomerates, and concentrations of ownership promoted the production and release of movies with maximum revenue potential. Indeed, the most commercially successful movies of the decade put forth the ideologies of WASP America, nuclear family self-sufficiency, and conspicuous consumption." "Three genres in particular - the biracial buddy movie, the MTV music-video movie, and the yuppie movie - provide case studies of how Reagan-era cinema addressed issues of race, gender, and class in ways very much in tune with Reaganomics and the President's cultural policies. Author Chris Jordan provides a complete overview of both the influence of Reagan's presidency on the film industry and on the films themselves. Exploring '80s genres and movies with both a sociocultural and aesthetic eye, this book will be invaluable to historians, cinema scholars, and film buffs."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The American Success Myth On Film

Author: Julie Levinson
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 0230363369
Size: 77.70 MB
Format: PDF
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Contemporary cultural narratives, like ancient myths, speak to our common aspirations, anxieties, and perplexities. These ritually retold stories help to create a sense of communal identity. The American Success Myth on Film considers how movies, as bearers of modern myths, have illuminated – if not resolved – the ideological contradictions at the heart of the American idea of success. In examining the enduring appeal that the success myth exerts on our collective imagination, it highlights the central role that films have played in the ongoing cultural conversation about success and work in America. Analyses of a range of movies from the late 1920s to the present are grounded in the history of rags-to-riches tales and in a consideration of the social functions of myth. This expansive analysis of the American success myth exposes the insistent, but sometimes implicit, attitudes toward success that infuse our cultural narratives and, not incidentally, underlie our national self-image, our public discourse, and our personal ideals.

Hard Bodies

Author: Susan Jeffords
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813520032
Size: 29.16 MB
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Hard Bodies is about Ronald Reagan, Robert Bly, "America," Rambo, Dirty Harry, national identity, and individual manhood. By linking blockbuster Hollywood films of the 1980s to Ronald Reagan and his image, Susan Jeffords explores the links between masculinity and U.S. identity and how their images changed during that decade. Her book powerfully defines a distinctly ideological period in the renegotiation of masculinity in the post-Vietnam era. As Jeffords perceptively notes, Reagan was most effective at constructing and promoting his own image. His election in 1980 and his landslide re-election in 1984 offered politicians and the film industry some insight into "what audiences want to see." Audiences--and constituencies--were looking for characters who stood up for individualism, liberty, anti-governmentalism, militarism, and who embodied a kind of mythic heroism. The administration in Washington and Hollywood filmmakers sensed and tried to fill that need. Jeffords describes how movies meshed inextricably with Reagan's life as he cast himself as a hero and influenced the country to believe the same script. Invoking Clint Eastwood in his speeches and treating scenes from movies as if they were real, Reagan played on his image in order to link popular and national narratives. Hollywood returned the compliment. Through her illuminating and detailed analyses of both the Reagan presidency and many blockbuster movies, Jeffords provides a scenario within which the successes of the New Right and the Reagan presidency can begin to be understood: she both encourages an understanding of how this complicity functioned and provides a framework within which to respond to the New Right's methods and arguments. Rambo, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Robocop, Back to the Future, Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series, Mississippi Burning, Rain Man, Batman, and Unforgiven are among the films she discusses. In her closing chapter, she suggests the direction that masculinity is taking in the 1990s.

Ethical Realism

Author: Anatol Lieven
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307495337
Size: 78.62 MB
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America today faces a world more complicated than ever before, but our politicians have failed to envision a foreign policy that addresses our greatest threats. Ethical Realism shows how the United States can successfully combine genuine morality with tough and practical common sense. By outlining core principles and a set of concrete proposals for tackling the terrorist threat and contend with Iran, Russia, the Middle East, and China, Anatol Lieven and John Hulsman show us how to strengthen our security, pursue our national interests, and restore American leadership in the world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

President Reagan

Author: Lou Cannon
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 078672417X
Size: 80.95 MB
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Hailed by the New Yorker as "a superlative study of a president and his presidency," Lou Cannon's President Reagan remains the definitive account of our most significant presidency in the last fifty years. Ronald Wilson Reagan, the first actor to be elected president, turned in the performance of a lifetime. But that performance concealed the complexities of the man, baffling most who came in contact with him. Who was the man behind the makeup? Only Lou Cannon, who covered Reagan through his political career, can tell us. The keenest Reagan-watcher of them all, he has been the only author to reveal the nature of a man both shrewd and oblivious. Based on hundreds of interviews with the president, the First Lady, and hundreds of the administration's major figures, President Reagan takes us behind the scenes of the Oval Office. Cannon leads us through all of Reagan's roles, from the affable cowboy to the self-styled family man; from the politician who denounced big government to the president who created the largest peace-time deficit; from the statesman who reviled the Soviet government to the Great Communicator who helped end the cold war.

Rawhide Down

Author: Del Quentin Wilber
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 9781429919319
Size: 13.71 MB
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A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011 A Richmond Times Dispatch Top Book for 2011 A minute-by-minute account of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was just seventy days into his first term of office when John Hinckley Jr. opened fire outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, wounding the president, press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent, and a D.C. police officer. For years, few people knew the truth about how close the president came to dying, and no one has ever written a detailed narrative of that harrowing day. Now, drawing on exclusive new interviews and never-before-seen documents, photos, and videos, Del Quentin Wilber tells the electrifying story of a moment when the nation faced a terrifying crisis that it had experienced less than twenty years before, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. With cinematic clarity, we see Secret Service agent Jerry Parr, whose fast reflexes saved the president's life; the brilliant surgeons who operated on Reagan as he was losing half his blood; and the small group of White House officials frantically trying to determine whether the country was under attack. Most especially, we encounter the man code-named "Rawhide," a leader of uncommon grace who inspired affection and awe in everyone who worked with him. Ronald Reagan was the only serving U.S. president to survive being shot in an assassination attempt.* Rawhide Down is the first true record of the day and events that literally shaped Reagan's presidency and sealed his image in the modern American political firmament. *There have been many assassination attempts on U.S. presidents, four of which were successful: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy. President Theodore Roosevelt was injured in an assassination attempt after leaving office.

Shadow

Author: Bob Woodward
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1471104729
Size: 50.18 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Twenty-five years after Richard Nixon's resignation, investigative journalist Bob Woodward examines the legacy of Watergate. Based on hundreds of interviews - both on and off the record - and three years of research of government archives, Woodward's latest book explains in detail how the premier scandal of US history has indelibly altered the shape of American politics and culture - and has limited the power to act of the presidency itself. Bob Woodward's mix of historical perspective and journalistic sleuthing provides a unique perspective on the repercussions of Watergate and proves that it was far more than a passing, embarrassing crisis in American politics: it heralded the beginning of a new period of troubled presidencies. From Ford through to Clinton, presidents have battled public scepticism, a challenging Congress, adversarial press and even special prosecutors in their term in office. Now, a quarter of a century after the scandal emerged, the man who helped expose Watergate shows us the stunning impact of its heritage.

Way Out There In The Blue

Author: Frances FitzGerald
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743203771
Size: 68.97 MB
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Way Out There in the Blue is a major work of history by the Pulitzer Prize­winning author of Fire in the Lake. Using the Star Wars missile defense program as a magnifying glass on his presidency, Frances FitzGerald gives us a wholly original portrait of Ronald Reagan, the most puzzling president of the last half of the twentieth century. Reagan's presidency and the man himself have always been difficult to fathom. His influence was enormous, and the few powerful ideas he espoused remain with us still -- yet he seemed nothing more than a charming, simple-minded, inattentive actor. FitzGerald shows us a Reagan far more complex than the man we thought we knew. A master of the American language and of self-presentation, the greatest storyteller ever to occupy the Oval Office, Reagan created a compelling public persona that bore little relationship to himself. The real Ronald Reagan -- the Reagan who emerges from FitzGerald's book -- was a gifted politician with a deep understanding of the American national psyche and at the same time an executive almost totally disengaged from the policies of his administration and from the people who surrounded him. The idea that America should have an impregnable shield against nuclear weapons was Reagan's invention. His famous Star Wars speech, in which he promised us such a shield and called upon scientists to produce it, gave rise to the Strategic Defense Initiative. Reagan used his sure understanding of American mythology, history and politics to persuade the country that a perfect defense against Soviet nuclear weapons would be possible, even though the technology did not exist and was not remotely feasible. His idea turned into a multibillion-dollar research program. SDI played a central role in U.S.-Soviet relations at a crucial juncture in the Cold War, and in a different form it survives to this day. Drawing on prodigious research, including interviews with the participants, FitzGerald offers new insights into American foreign policy in the Reagan era. She gives us revealing portraits of major players in Reagan's administration, including George Shultz, Caspar Weinberger, Donald Regan and Paul Nitze, and she provides a radically new view of what happened at the Reagan-Gorbachev summits in Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington and Moscow. FitzGerald describes the fierce battles among Reagan's advisers and the frightening increase of Cold War tensions during Reagan's first term. She shows how the president who presided over the greatest peacetime military buildup came to espouse the elimination of nuclear weapons, and how the man who insisted that the Soviet Union was an "evil empire" came to embrace the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and to proclaim an end to the Cold War long before most in Washington understood that it had ended. Way Out There in the Blue is a ground-breaking history of the American side of the end of the Cold War. Both appalling and funny, it is a black comedy in which Reagan, playing the role he wrote for himself, is the hero.