Synopsis by Nathan Southern
When Ronald Reagan first occupied the Oval Office in January 1981, the nation was at a historical low - slipping into recession, with unemployment and interest rates at record highs and the Cold War threatening to push the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of conflict. Eight years later, the United States was enjoying period of unequaled economic prosperity, the Iron Curtain had begun to crumble, and Reagan ultimately went down as one of the most popular U.S. presidents in history. But which factors accounted for his considerable success? This documentary from Iowa Public Television sets out to answer that question, with a detailed look at Reagan's two terms in office and his actions in areas including supply-side economics, deficit spending, immigration reform, and much more. It features interviews with such insiders as Condoleezza Rice, Sandra Day O'Connor, Walter Mondale, Douglas Brinkley and others.