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Selling Ronald Reagan: The Emergence of a President

Selling Ronald Reagan: The Emergence of a President
Gerard de Groot

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Before 1966, the idea of Reagan in politics provoked widespread scorn. To most people, he seemed a has-been actor, a right-wing extremist and a 'dunce'. Journalists therefore ridiculed his aspirations to be governor of California. No one, however, doubted his incredible ability to communicate with a crowd. In order to succeed in his campaign, Reagan had to be packaged as an outsider - an antidote to politics as usual. A highly sophisticated team of marketers and ad-men turned the scary right-winger into a harmless moderate who could attract supporters from across the political spectrum. Researchers meanwhile provided the coaching that allowed Reagan to seem well-informed - all of which led to Reagan winning the California governorship by a landslide. Gerard DeGroot here explores how, in the decade of consumerism, Reagan was marketed as a product. While there is no doubting his natural abilities as a campaigner, Reagan won in 1966 because his team of advisers understood how to sell their candidate, and he, wisely, allowed himself to be sold.

Selling Ronald Reagan tells the story of Reagan's first election, when the nature of campaigning was forever altered and a titan of modern American history emerged.

Author Info

Gerard DeGroot was born in California and is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews. He has published fourteen books and dozens of articles on various aspects of twentieth-century history. His book on nuclear weaponry (The Bomb: A Life) was published to considerable acclaim and won the Westminster Medal for Military Literature. The Sixties Unplugged, an iconoclastic history of the decade, won the Ray and Pat Browne Prize in 2008 for the best book on American cultural history. DeGroot is also a freelance journalist, contributing frequent op-ed columns and reviews to national newspapers in Britain and the USA.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780768281
Publication Date: 29 Sep 2015
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 12 bw integrated

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