The First Reagan Administration, 1981–85

  • Christopher Brady
Part of the Contemporary History in Context book series (CHIC)


Reagan’s inaugural address was a fairly accurate indicator of the policy themes of the next four years. The primary concern of the inaugural was economic: ‘These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions.’ The second concern was the intrusiveness of government: ‘In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.’ Both concerns highlighted the predominant Reaganite view that America was a country in moral, economic and strategic decline. It was a country made great by the pioneer spirit but devalued during the Carter period by the erosion of that spirit. Reagan concluded his inaugural by affirming that he ‘did not take the oath [he’d] just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world’s strongest economy’.


Foreign Policy Foreign Affair Foreign Minister Khmer Rouge Reagan Administration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Bell, C., The Reagan Paradox: American Foreign Policy in the 1980s, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1989.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Tucker, R. W., ‘Reagan’s Foreign Policy’, Foreign Affairs, 1988/89, p. 5. Tucker uses the term ‘mediocre’.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Hill, D., Moore, R. and Williams, P., The Reagan Presidency: an Incomplete Revolution? : , 1990, p. 9.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Haig, Alexander, Jr., Caveat: Realism, Reagan, and Foreign Policy, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1984, p. 12.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Kegley, Charles W. Jr. and Wittkopf, Eugene R., American Foreign Policy: Pattern and Process, 3rd ed., London: Macmillan, 1987, p. 360.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Hastedt, Glenn P. American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, Future, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1988, p. 121.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Melanson, Richard A., Reconstructing Consensus: American Foreign Policy Since the Vietnam War, New York: St Martin’s Press, 1991, p. 229.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    O’Dowd, Ann Reilly, ‘What Managers Can Learn From Manager Reagan’, Fortune, 15 September 1986, p. 26.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Nye, Joseph S., Jr., ‘’, Foreign Policy, No. 72, Fall 1988, p. 109.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    Drew, E., ‘A Political Journal’, New Yorker, 20 February 1984.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Tulis, J. K., The Rhetorical Presidency, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    Reagan quoted while employed by General Electric on the TV programme GE Theater. Dugger, R., On Reagan: the Man and his Presidency, London: McGraw-Hill, 1983, p. 351.Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    Baker, Ross K., The Election of 1980: Reports and Interpretations, New Jersey: Chatham House, 1981.Google Scholar
  14. 22.
    Quoted in Mervin, D., Ronald Reagan and the American Presidency, London: Longman, 1990, p. 187.Google Scholar
  15. 24.
    Stockman, D., Triumph of Politics, New York: Harper and Row, 1986, p. 95.Google Scholar
  16. 25.
    Michael Foley, chapter 2 in Hogan, J. (ed.), The Reagan Years: the Record in Presidential Leadership, Manchester: MUP, 1990, p. 51.Google Scholar
  17. 30.
    Allison, G., The Essence of Decision, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1971.Google Scholar
  18. 32.
    Haig, Alexander, ‘American Power and American Purpose’, Current Policy, No. 279, USGPO, 27 April 1982.Google Scholar
  19. 40.
    McMahan, J., Reagan and the World: Imperial Policy in the New Cold War, London: Pluto Press, 1984, p. 12.Google Scholar
  20. 53.
    Gelb, Leslie H. and Lake, Anthony, ‘Four More Years: Diplomacy Restored’, Foreign Affairs, 63 (3), 1985, p. 466.Google Scholar
  21. 58.
    Schultz, George P., ‘New Realities and New Ways of Thinking’, Foreign Affairs, Spring 1985, 63 (4), p. 711.Google Scholar
  22. 59.
    ‘US Interests in Southeast Asia’, Current Policy, No. 295, USGPO, 15 July 1981.Google Scholar
  23. 102.
    Pike, Douglas, Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), 11 June 1982, p. 42.Google Scholar
  24. 133.
    Van der Kroef, Justus M, ‘Kampuchea: the Diplomatic Labyrinth’, Asian Survey, Vol. XXII, No. 10, October 1982, p. 1023.Google Scholar
  25. 166.
    Van der Kroef, Justus M., ‘Kampuchea: Diplomatic Gambits and Political Realities’, Orbis, Spring 1984, p. 161.Google Scholar
  26. 169.
    Chanda, Nayan, ‘CIA no, US aid yes’, FEER, 16 August 1984.Google Scholar
  27. 172.
    Bekaert, Jacques, ‘Cambodia: a nasty little war’, International Defense Review, Vol. 22, March 1989.Google Scholar
  28. 173.
    Kiernan, Ben, ‘’, A Proposal for Peace, February-March 1985, p. 37.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Christopher Brady 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Brady
    • 1
  1. 1.City University Business SchoolLondonUK

Personalised recommendations