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Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan and Star Wars and the End of the Cold War

by

Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan and Star Wars and the End of the Cold War Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Way Out There in the Blue is a major work of history by the Pulitzer Prize-winning 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.

Synopsis:

Way Out There in the Blue is a major work of history by the Pulitzer Prizewinning

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.

About the Author

Frances FitzGerald is the author of Fire in the Lake, America Revised and Cities on a Hill. Her books have won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the Bancroft Prize for history. She has been a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and has written for many other publications, including The New York Times Magazine and The New York Review of Books. She lives in New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684844169
Subtitle:
Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War
Author:
Fitzgerald, Frances
Author:
Frances Fitzgerald
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York :
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
U.S. Government
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Foreign relations
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to present)
Subject:
Soviet Union
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
Cold war
Subject:
Nuclear arms control
Subject:
Strategic defense initiative
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Political Science-Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Political Science-Political History
Subject:
History - United States/20th Century
Subject:
History-United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Subject:
Political Science : General
Subject:
History - United States/General
Copyright:
Series Volume:
106-358
Publication Date:
2000
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
592
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 31.792 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » Presidents » Reagan, Ronald

Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan and Star Wars and the End of the Cold War Used Hardcover
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Product details 592 pages Simon & Schuster Trade - English 9780684844169 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Way Out There in the Blue is a major work of history by the Pulitzer Prizewinning
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