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Profs and Pints presents: “Rethinking Reagan as Cold Warrior,” with Matthew Dallek, political historian and associate professor of political management at George Washington University and scholar of the Reagan presidency.
President Ronald Reagan’s admirers have long claimed that his foresight, wisdom and strength carried America to a decisive victory in the Cold War. Reagan, they argue, built up the U.S. military after a period of decline, boldly assailed the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” and launched a struggle against communist regimes from Eastern Europe to Central America, with ultimate victory in the Cold War being a result. Historian John Patrick Diggins once wrote that the it was a triumph that “delivered America from fear and loathing” and “remedied America of all self-doubt.”
Is Reagan actually responsible for our “winning” the Cold War? Come hear Professor Dallek tackle that question in ways that will make you rethink your assumptions about history. He’ll look at Reagan’s role in bringing this international conflict to a peaceful resolution, and the role that Reagan’s anti-communist broadsides had on the decades-long geopolitical struggle between Western capitalism and Soviet communism.
How close did Reagan and the USSR come to nuclear war in 1983? Why did Reagan do a 180-degree turn on arms control in his second term? How much credit does Gorbachev deserve for ending the Cold War? What role did larger economic forces and “soft power” have in felling the Soviet Union? Those are all questions that also will be tackled by Professor Dallek, a frequent commentator for the national media who is teaching a course on the modern presidency.
Professor Dallek will also explore why the United States and Russia failed to forge a lasting peace after the collapse of communism, and how lingering tensions between them led to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. You’ll leave the talk with a much richer contextual understanding of today’s headlines.
Advance tickets available at https://profspintsreaganwar.brownpapertickets.com