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History professor offers fresh perspective on current political debate



Denize Springer
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


SAN FRANCISCO, August 23, 2004 -- According to San Francisco State University professor Jules Tygiel, Ronald Reagan and the issues he personifies loom large in the current presidential campaign. Tygiel's recently published book, "Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservatism," is the first scholarly biography of the late 40th President of the United States written in the aftermath of the election of George W. Bush and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"We live in the age of Reagan. We live in the wake of his reforms" insists Tygiel, "his presidency reshaped our political universe. Though he left office well over a decade ago his legacy still influences our daily lives and national debates." Tygiel's book reveals what lies between the far right's idolatry of Reagan and the far left's narrow criticism by illustrating how Reagan personifies the 20th century American experience, advancing from a modest Midwestern boyhood to movie stardom to union leader and political spokesperson before entering public office as Governor of California and President of the United States.

"Reagan moved from the political left to the political right and came to symbolize the conservative resurgence that swept the nation," says Tygiel. "To understand the current battles between George W. Bush and John Kerry and the divide between the ‘red,' the ‘blue' and the 'swing' states, it is necessary to understand the enduring legacy, both positive and negative, of Ronald Reagan."

Tygiel is a professor of California and U.S. history pertaining to labor and economics. He is the published author of many books and articles on sports history and labor including the award-winning "Past-time: Baseball as History" and the acclaimed "Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy."

"Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservatism," published by Pearson/Longman (, is one of the titles in the Library of American Biography series which focuses on figures whose actions and ideas significantly influenced the course of American history and national life.


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Last modified August 23, 2004, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications