The Reagan reversal : foreign policy and the end of the Cold War /
Beth A. Fischer.
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c1997.
xi, 176 p. ; 24 cm.
0826211380 (alk. paper)
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Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c1997.
0826211380 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 157-168) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-05-01:
Fischer (Univ. of Toronto) has given her audience a well-written and provocative work. It is widely assumed, as she states, that during his eight-year presidency Reagan was a passive participant, not an initiator, in foreign policy formulation and execution. Conventional wisdom assumes policy was made by his advisors, particularly Secretary of State George Shulz, or in accordance with public opinion. Fischer clearly illustrates that neither of these assumptions is true with respect to US Soviet relations. Reagan had deep concerns that the policy of confrontation could lead to possible nuclear annihilation. In 1983, sparked by the downing of KAL Flight 007, the president moved toward conciliation with the leaders of the Soviet Union. This was a distinct change from his earlier hard-line approach toward the "evil empire." The author suggests that Reagan was able to make a distinction between Gorbachev as leader and Gorbachev as communist. Fischer convincingly concludes that in the case of US Soviet relations in general and the issue of nuclear weapons in particular, policy was leader-directed, that is, primarily made by the president. Her lively and well-researched study should be required reading for all graduate students in the areas of US foreign policy and US diplomatic history. A. C. Tuttle University of Nevada, Las Vegas
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Choice, May 1998
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Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
American Soviet Policy, 1981-1985p. 16
Public Opinion and Foreign Policy Making: The Impact of the 1984 Presidential Electionp. 51
The Passive President: Reagan's Advisers and the Change in U.S. Soviet Policyp. 69
The Reagan Reversal: The Case for Leader-Driven Policy Changep. 102
Conclnsionsp. 144
Bibliographyp. 157
Indexp. 169
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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