On this day in 1981, “The Reagan Revolution” by Robert Novak and Rowland Evans was published. This interesting and out-of-print book chronicles the formative early months and significant changes brought about by President Ronald Reagan’s administration.
Evans and Novak, of course, wrote the longest double by-lined syndicated column in history and numerous books. Their level of access was legendary and this particular book is not some gushing lament about conservatives retaking the mantle, but more of an inside look at the major changes Reagan’s presidency brought.
The book highlights everything from Reagan embracing Congressman Jack Kemp’s supply-side economic policies to being the first president in decades to push for major budget cuts to his loosening of regulations. The book also includes fascinating tidbits, such as the fact the Reagan would have let the U.S. auto industry succeed or fail on its own accord in 1981, but provided government support after being persuaded by Vice President George H.W. Bush. In addition, “The Reagan Revolution” also highlights the fact that he was the first Republican leader to seriously court the social conservatives that dominate the party today.
The book that was published less than one-year into Reagan’s presidency provides a snapshot of him and the public’s perception. It is worth checking out.