Learn About Reagan: The American President

Part of History Courses

Professor Larry is an expert about a range of topics. Check out our current and upcoming courses. Send a message if you'd like to see Professor Larry address something new!

Part of History Courses

Professor Larry is an expert about a range of topics. Check out our current and upcoming courses. Send a message if you'd like to see Professor Larry address something new!

Learn About Reagan: The American President
Course filed in Presidential & Political History

Everyone knows a little about the 20th century’s greatest president, Ronald Reagan. But few people know what’s in this course. From Reagan’s humble childhood to a student at Eureka College (where he became the only US President to lead a student protest) to his success as a lifeguard to his ascent to being a Hollywood actor, the course covers Reagan’s early life as he prepared for the world of politics.

Reagan was president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, the only US president ever to head a labor union; he helped purge Hollywood (until recently, anyway) of communists; he served in the US Army Film Unit in WW II (denied combat because of terrible eyesight), and he became one of the first TV stars to come over from movies in General Electric Theater.

But Reagan would leave his biggest mark on the world first as California Governor, then as President of the United States, where he had the twofold objective of restoring American economic power and prestige while defeating completely the evil Soviet Union.

He succeeded in both.

Learn the stories you never knew in this exceptional course built upon the new biography of Reagan, Reagan: The American President.

A. Early life as a Middle American Boy

           1. Humble beginnings

           2. Jack Reagan’s cautionary tale

           3. Early interest in drama and acting

           4. Roots of an intellectual

           5. Lifesaver

B. College and beyond

           1. Life at Eureka: Football, Acting, and Agitation

           2. Forming the freedom mentality

           3. Radio career

           4. Hollywood, Here I Come!

C. A “B” Actor

           1. Key roles, Knute Rockne and King’s Row

           2. World War II and Fort Roach

           3. Emergence of a Labor Leader

           4. Jane Wyman and no Jane Wyman

D. From Big to Small Screen

           1. GE’s training for public life

           2. Conversion of an FDR Democrat

           3. A Time for Choosing

E. California Governor

           1. Training for the executive office

           2. Mistakes and victories

           3. Missed opportunities for the presidency

           4. Interlude, and the rise of Jimmy Carter

F. Rendezvous with Destiny: the Presidential Years

           1. Reagan’s holistic approach: good economy, bad USSR

           2. Energy freedom

           3. Assassination attempt

           4. The hammer blows: Evil Empire, Pershings, and SDI

           5. Gorbachev in a hard place

           6. Reagan’s ill-fated immigration reform

           7. Iran-Contra and the fooling of a president

           8. Survival and recovery

           9 Triumph at Geneva, Mission to Moscow

G. Post-presidency

           1. The Alzheimer’s letter

           2. Decline

           3. Death and America’s outpouring of love

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Reagan and even more since Professor Larry has access to never before seen materials, letters and documents.

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