Ronald Reagan and the End of the Cold War

University of Texas

Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University’s Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. A popular public lecturer and frequent news commentator, his writings appear in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal,, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Time, and other media. Professor Suri has received the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas and the Pro Bene Meritis Award for Contributions to the Liberal Arts. Professor Suri hosts the weekly podcast, “This is Democracy,” and is the author and editor of eleven books, including: The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office; Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama; and Henry Kissinger and the American Century. His most recent book is entitled: Civil War by Other Means: America’s Long and Unfinished Fight for Democracy.



Ronald Reagan was one of the most unlikely and controversial American presidents, wand his tenure in office included a mix of tragedies and triumphs. The American debt climbed during his presidency, the country experienced growing inequality, and the AIDS crisis ravaged much of the American public. At the same time, Reagan triggered a renewal of American idealism and he helped to end the Cold War, which had kept the world on the edge of nuclear Armageddon for nearly fifty years. This talk will explore how Reagan did it, as well as some insights on how we should assess his presidency.



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