The Man Who Changed the Game PlanIssue: Summer 1996
I am going to talk about how Ronald Reagan and his team--a team widely characterized at the time, both here and abroad, as a group of inexperienced and impractical right-wing ideologues and fanatics--prevailed in the Cold War. In doing so, I shall not be so foolish as to claim for them all the credit for victory. Clearly, much belongs to earlier American statesmen, from Harry Truman on; and one cannot deny a little to Mikhail Gorbachev, however unintended the consequences of his actions. But I shall offer what I believe is a reasoned defense of the proposition that the Reagan presidency can properly claim the lion's share of the credit--and, even more shocking for some, that the key factor in the winning side's team was the president himself.