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Becoming Ronald Reagan
The Rise of a Conservative Icon
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Ronald Reagan took one of the most unconventional paths to the presidency in American history. Bob Mann tells this part of Reagan's remarkable story in lively, enlightening prose. Ronald Reagan evolved from rags to riches, liberal to conservative, and Democratic to Republican. But as Mann masterfully shows, Reagan's innate talents and personal genuineness were evident at each stage of his transformation into an icon who will never ride into the sunset for conservatives."" - Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia and author of The Kennedy Half-Century ""This typically excellent, highly original work from Robert Mann will emerge as the standard interpretation of Reagan's ideological evolution - and his development as a major political figure. Mann stresses both continuity in Reagan's belief system and recognition of the pre-gubernatorial era's importance. A must-read."" - Robert David Johnson, professor of history at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center and author of All the Way with LBJ: The 1964 Presidential Election
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Robert Mann is a professor and holds the Manship Chair in Journalism at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He is the author of numerous books, including Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater, and the Ad That Changed American Politics, named as one of the best political books of 2011 by the Washington Post.
Illustrations Acknowledgements Introduction 1. My Heart Is a Ham Loaf 2. Mr. Norm is My Alias 3. Have You Ever Heard Him Talk? 4. An Ambassador of Good Will 5. That's the Way, Ron 6. Progress Is Our Most Important Product 7. He Had That Little Computer Up There 8. He Is No Mere Movie Glamor Boy 9. He Used to Be a Liberal 10. Operation Coffeecup 11. Of Course Bobby Kennedy Is Behind It 12. Have You Reregistered as a Republican Yet? 13. Which One Was the Candidate? 14. A Rendezvous with Destiny 15. Why Didn't Goldwater Talk Like That? 16. The Brightest Spot of the Dreary Campaign 17. The Voice of the Cubs Became the Great Communicator Epilogue: Ron, Would You Come Down? Works Cited Notes Index