Synopses & Reviews
This national best-seller brilliantly analyzes America in the 1980s from the election of Ronald Reagan through to the end of the decade. The author paints a vivid portrait not only of Reagan's presidency, but also of the Iran-Contra affair, the boom times on Wall Street and the religious revival led by Swaggart, Bakker et al.
"Haynes Johnson unashamedly offers a strong liberal critique of the 1980"s and the Reagan years. Given the powers of 'the Great Communicator' who told the story his way, Johnson's book is a necessary corrective of an era he maintains was 'nurtured by greed.' Sleepwalking provides explanations of all the things that were wrong or went wrong in the 1980"s: Iran-Contra, fraud in HUD, televangelism and the New Right, homelessness and poverty, the price of deregulation and America's fall from dominance to struggling debtor nation. A procession of leading characters move across its pages: Ivan Boesky, Oliver North, Manuel Norriega, William Casey, Willie Horton, and Arthur Laffer of the 'Laffer curve.' But is it objective and even-handed history that measures mistakes against accomplishments? Probably Johnson himself would not make such a claim. Interestingly, Gorbachev merits only two entries in the book. This fact is a commentary on the neglect of one of the broad areas of policy on which Reagan ultimately will be judged." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 507-515) and index.