counter create hit Ronald Reagan: New Deal Republican - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Ronald Reagan: New Deal Republican

Availability: Ready to download

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 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.


Compare
Ads Banner

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 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.

30 review for Ronald Reagan: New Deal Republican

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate Pitrone

    I came to the Right from the Left and Ronald Reagan helped me get there. I had thought the Left was all about individual rights for ordinary people. Then I found it was about conformity through government control, and not prosperity, but a confining security through government largesse. I didn't want that and couldn't see how it was good for anybody. Reagan said that government was the enemy. The government that governed least governed best. That sounded right to me. I became a Republican. Was I came to the Right from the Left and Ronald Reagan helped me get there. I had thought the Left was all about individual rights for ordinary people. Then I found it was about conformity through government control, and not prosperity, but a confining security through government largesse. I didn't want that and couldn't see how it was good for anybody. Reagan said that government was the enemy. The government that governed least governed best. That sounded right to me. I became a Republican. Was Reagan for the working man? He sure was. My husband was a welder, but the way we were taxed in 1979, if he worked overtime he took home less pay for the week because he was suddenly in a higher tax bracket. Reagan called that bracket creep. That kind of thing was crazy, but how else could the nation pay for all of the programs intended to help -- somebody else, not us nor any of the other struggling young families we knew. Reagan said he would reduce government and lower taxes. We would be allowed to keep more of our own money, which we spent, stimulating the economy. That last bit was supply side economics. Reagan understood that and sold it to a majority of Americans, but Olsen misunderstands him and the theory. Strikingly, Olsen says almost nothing about Reagan and the abortion issue. "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation" reiterated what Reagan had said on the topic prior to the 1980 election through Citizens for the Republic. (Oddly, Olsen never mentions that publication, nor Lyn Nofziger, perhaps because the image of Reagan he shaped was counter to that which Olden is trying to form in this book.) One great appeal to us ordinary folk was Reagan's stand on abortion. Olsen suggests Reagan said little about religion, but he did speak of God and when he used words like "conscience" we understood that as a religious motivation. Working class America was religious and we understood Reagan to be so as well. Oh well. The book is an interesting read, especially for anyone who lived through the 1980s and paid attention to politics. Olsen's point by the end of the book seems to be to allow those who DIDN'T live through the Reagan era to reconcile Reaganism to Trump and Trumpism. Making Reagan into a New Deal Republican means that the Republican Party has been wrong, which means that Trump must be inevitable and right. It's an argument for our era. Yet, Reagan actually was a working class hero, given his childhood. Olsen spells that out well. I don't see how we slap that image onto the current Republican president, but Olsen tries and maybe that is the best reason to read the book. If we can find a way to re-understand the past to accommodate the present, there is political expediency in that. Well, therein is another difference from that older form of Conservatism. We used to despise revisionist history, but now it might be necessary to embrace it. Current political necessity trumps political history. Edit Delete

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    A thought provoking but problematic look at Reagan through the lens of the Trump phenomenon. Olsen in essence argues that Reagan was a principled but pragmatic politician who eschewed ideology and dogma and instead sought the betterment of average Americans by supporting the basic idea of FDR's New Deal while rejecting the progressive and New Left extremism even as he rejected its opposite, rigid libertarianism. But Olsen builds his argument based on Reagan's language and rhetoric and assumes A thought provoking but problematic look at Reagan through the lens of the Trump phenomenon. Olsen in essence argues that Reagan was a principled but pragmatic politician who eschewed ideology and dogma and instead sought the betterment of average Americans by supporting the basic idea of FDR's New Deal while rejecting the progressive and New Left extremism even as he rejected its opposite, rigid libertarianism. But Olsen builds his argument based on Reagan's language and rhetoric and assumes that his electoral success is directly connected to his words and approach. In other words, the success of Reagan and the failure of other GOP presidential candidates can all be reduced to a simplistic idea in the minds of voters of "who care most about people like me." I think Olsen make some fair points regarding the rhetorical and perception problems of Republicans/Conservatives and how Reagan was able to avoid those pitfalls for the most part (or at least electorally). But at a basic level the criticisms Olsen offers and the portrait of Reagan he paints is unfair and inaccurate. It is overly-simplistic and tends toward caricature (some might saw straw man territory). Nevertheless, I think there are some nuggets of truth and a big picture reality that can be gleaned from Olsen. Viewed through the lens of rhetoric and style there is something there, but based on policy and electoral analysis I think there is simple not enough nuance and complexity. I also think the leap from Reagan to Trump is close to absurd. Trump barely squeezing out a victory against one of the most unpopular figures in American political history, and a terrible candidate to boot, does not a Reagan make.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tony Seel

    Good stuff. Olsen has some insights into Reagan that I've read no where else, particularly Reagan's commitment to New Deal social programs.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Henry Olsen rescues Reagan from the clutches of the conservative movement. Instead of being a cardboard cutout version of Barry Goldwater, who was about cutting government above all, Reagan was fundamentally a New Deal conservative who cared about the concerns of every day people. His politics was grounded upon the idea that government had a duty to provide for those who couldn't provide for themselves. Monetary concerns were in the service of human life, not the other way around. The drawback of Henry Olsen rescues Reagan from the clutches of the conservative movement. Instead of being a cardboard cutout version of Barry Goldwater, who was about cutting government above all, Reagan was fundamentally a New Deal conservative who cared about the concerns of every day people. His politics was grounded upon the idea that government had a duty to provide for those who couldn't provide for themselves. Monetary concerns were in the service of human life, not the other way around. The drawback of this book is that Olsen seems to shy away from theoretical discussions of the New Deal. One wonders at the compatibility between core New Deal principles and government by the consent of the governed. After all, FDR in his Commonwealth Club Address pretty openly rejected some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American Founding. How one separates the "public New Deal" from economic planning and the administrative state, as Olsen claims Reagan did, seems a difficult, if not impossible, task. But that aside, this is a book that deserves to be read multiple times, because the lessons it contains are absolutely critical if Republicans want to have any shot at maintaining the success they had in the 2016 election.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caden Mccann

    This was one of the better books I've read on Reagan. Looking beyond the popular conception of Reagan as a small-government libertarian, Olsen parses Reagan's speeches and looks at his past as an FDR-loving democrat to frame the the 40th president as someone with a unique conservative vision that sought to at once promote economic freedom and preserve the social infrastructure of the New Deal. With the recent election of Donald Trump bringing to light many of the systemic issues within the GOP, This was one of the better books I've read on Reagan. Looking beyond the popular conception of Reagan as a small-government libertarian, Olsen parses Reagan's speeches and looks at his past as an FDR-loving democrat to frame the the 40th president as someone with a unique conservative vision that sought to at once promote economic freedom and preserve the social infrastructure of the New Deal. With the recent election of Donald Trump bringing to light many of the systemic issues within the GOP, Olsen also provides some interesting thoughts in the book's final chapter about how the party might serve to rehabilitate itself going forward. Overall, a very good read and one I'd recommend to anyone with an interest in American politics.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Great book that gives a different perspective on the 4oth President.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Figueiredo

    Henry Olsen presents an interesting argument in "The Working Class Republican" (not to be confused with Rick Santorum's "Blue Collar Conservative"). Essentially, his main claim is that Ronald Reagan was not an ideologue, but rather a conservative who maintained a lifelong respect for the New Deal consensus that undergirds American society. In this, Olsen seeks to distinguish between support for government intervention to help those who Reagan found as deserving help and expanding bureaucracy and Henry Olsen presents an interesting argument in "The Working Class Republican" (not to be confused with Rick Santorum's "Blue Collar Conservative"). Essentially, his main claim is that Ronald Reagan was not an ideologue, but rather a conservative who maintained a lifelong respect for the New Deal consensus that undergirds American society. In this, Olsen seeks to distinguish between support for government intervention to help those who Reagan found as deserving help and expanding bureaucracy and help for those seen as not needing it. It's a fascinating piece that uses a lot of Reagan's speeches as evidence and traces how the New Deal Democrat in him never fully went away. Olsen also employs right-wing opposition to Reagan (which I didn't know existed) as evidence for his point. Personally, my image of Reagan was always of a tax-cutting conservative who didn't pay much regard to the not-well-off, and this book definitely challenged that narrative by showing how Reagan made space for government intervention in his ideology. Olsen ends the book with a discussion of how the Republican party has erred since Reagan and his explanation that compassionate conservatism, Paul Ryan's agenda, the Tea Party, and Mitt Romney all failed to reach the blue-collar voters that Reagan did. Personally, this seems to reflect the EJ Dionne book "Why the Right Went Wrong" and it's a good argument. But then Olsen concludes that President Donald Trump is the best hope for Reaganism to continue in the party. Yikes. That gets me to the reason I only give this book three stars though; I find this argument somewhat shaky. I accept the main point, but I don't think Reagan was as devoted to all of the working class as Olsen posits. After all, Olsen spends a significant amount of time defending Reagan against charges of racism, noting his switch on a housing discrimination bill in California. However, just a few days ago from when I wrote this review, a tape emerged of Reagan and Nixon in 1971 in which Reagan employs numerous racial slurs. Moreover, Reagan's support for a flat tax seems more like right-wing orthodoxy to me than the "not just for the rich" measure Olsen seeks to portray it as; this might stem from ideological difference though. Another example would be the elimination of farm subsidies (which Olsen mentions) DURING the farm crisis of the 1980s. That position is awfully far from a humane acknowledgment of the role government has to play in our society. I also find myself appalled at the book's conclusion. Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan, while both decidedly appealing to blue-collar voters are not that similar otherwise. Just look at their backgrounds for example. And the way Donald Trump treats people contradicts Olsen's central idea that Reagan was concerned with human dignity. I think Olsen is wrong to portray Donald Trump as the best hope for Reaganism, a philosophy that was open to immigrants and humble at times. Overall, this is a good book to make you reconsider Ronald Reagan's legacy, even if its arguments aren't 100% convincing. It seems like every conservative has their own way of interpreting his legacy, and it makes for good reading.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Reza Amiri Praramadhan

    This book comes with a proposition that will send chills into every libertarian spines: Ronald Reagan was, and is always been, an FDR New Deals adherent. But how? After all we have been inundated with the dominant views that Ronnie was a budget-cutting, freedom-loving, worshipper of supply-side economics, just like libertarians wanted us to believe. However, this book reveals that they could not be more wrong. As perfectly by his statement that the Democratic Party left him, Reagan was, indeed, This book comes with a proposition that will send chills into every libertarian’ spines: Ronald Reagan was, and is always been, an FDR New Deal’s adherent. But how? After all we have been inundated with the dominant views that Ronnie was a budget-cutting, freedom-loving, worshipper of supply-side economics, just like libertarians wanted us to believe. However, this book reveals that they could not be more wrong. As perfectly by his statement that the Democratic Party left him, Reagan was, indeed, a former Democratic Party member, who, being disappointed at the direction Democratic Party took, more following Henry Wallace’s progressivism rather than Henry Truman’s the true heir of FDR’s legacies. This caused Reagan to be unorthodox in his political stances when compared with other conservatives with Republican Party. A washed up, b-list actor, Reagan was catapulted into political stardom by his support of Barry Goldwater’s doomed presidential campaign in 1964. This opened up a path for him to be Governor of California, a chance to practice his core belief that government exists to extend helping hand to the most needy, while not dictating the lives of its citizens. This core belief led Reagan to make decisions that was construed as weakness, compromise or deviation from conservatism, as critics from the right believe. However, Reagan was merely acting on his hatred of ideology and ideologues, and their refusal to see the reality. A principled, rather than ideology-driven man, Reagan does not really care how his goals are reached, as long as they are reached in the end. His charisma, warmth, and genuine care towards average people earned him support from people from every walks of life, the most important being blue collar conservatives. They are the people who are most receptive of Reagan’s principles yet often neglected by both parties in America. Interestingly, the author also asserts that the mantle of Reaganism was most closely captured by Donald Trump, as seen during his presidential campaign, although the whole results remain to be seen. My final message to libertarian free-marketers: how does it feel when your patron saint did not act according to your core beliefs?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hasan

    This is a fairly interesting take on Ronald Reagan. And it makes a lot of sense. It doesn't figure out how to accomplish the budget cutting that the supply siders are trying to get at. But it's definitely a gentler, more workable Republican approach. George W. Bush might've been trying to get to this with "compassionate conservativism" but 9/11 got in the way. He did try to turn Social Security into a voucher system, which didn't work. But given that the Republican Party of today is largely rural This is a fairly interesting take on Ronald Reagan. And it makes a lot of sense. It doesn't figure out how to accomplish the budget cutting that the supply siders are trying to get at. But it's definitely a gentler, more workable Republican approach. George W. Bush might've been trying to get to this with "compassionate conservativism" but 9/11 got in the way. He did try to turn Social Security into a voucher system, which didn't work. But given that the Republican Party of today is largely rural and located in industrial parts of the country that are largely non-white, it sure seems like cutting government isn't going to be a winner. Donald Trump seized on that but the rest of the party seem like they're just waiting for this era to pass.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alex Gruenenfelder

    Often overly glorifying of a complex man, but makes many important points that are too often unheard.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Ruffini

  12. 4 out of 5

    Daniel A. Kotarski

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steven Michael

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ana

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Carson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jason Reese

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ruchik

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jan-Jaap van Peperstraten

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian Bergman

  21. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  22. 4 out of 5

    Impavido

  23. 4 out of 5

    benji

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jay Dougherty

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Peters

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eric Nelson

  27. 5 out of 5

    lcfcjs

  28. 4 out of 5

    John-Paul

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Keck

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christian Berclaz

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.