Forty Years since Reagan: 1980 as a Turning Point?

Friday, April 3, 2020, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Type: Roundtable Discussion


The year 2020 marks forty years since Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency and the beginning of what has been termed the Reagan Revolution. From this vantage point, what is the significance of Reagan’s electoral victory? What changed and what did not in American politics? In what ways were the changes of the Reagan years anticipated and underway before his election, and to what extent did his campaign and his presidency bring about real transformations? What historical narratives—the rise of the Right, the emergency of neoliberalism, the decline of the state—are helpful for thinking and teaching about Reagan’s political career and presidency?

Session Participants

Chair: Kim Phillips-Fein, New York University

Panelist: Angela D. Dillard, University of Michigan

Panelist: Beverly Gage, Yale University

Panelist: Lily D. Geismer, Claremont McKenna College

Panelist: Nelson Lichtenstein, UCSB

Panelist: Rick Perlstein, Independent scholar

Panelist: Claire Bond Potter, The New School for Social Research