The Ascendant Reagan

Former Reagan associate Peter Hannaford has a fascinating book review up at American Spectator. He read Reagan’s Revolution by Craig Shirley and likes it . . . a lot. Shirley’s book details the events of Reagan’s 1976 campaign against Gerald Ford that fell just short of the mark. For trivia buffs, the Reagan-Ford battle was the last one to be resolved at the convention. (That’s why the nets used to cover conventions in prime time. There was dynamite waiting to happen.)

As usual, here’s a taste:

The final night of that convention brought the unprecedented call by President Gerald Ford to Ronald Reagan to come down to the floor and address the delegates. Reagan’s short speech riveted the audience. Shirley captures the intensity of the moment and concludes that this speech was a turning point for the Republican Party. Thereafter, Ronald Reagan and the conservatives would be in the ascendancy.

Instead of becoming an aged almost-was, Reagan came back to change American politics and the world. Every Republican before or since (with the exception of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln) suffers from comparison.

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