In this new work, Edward Yager examines Ronald Reagan’s political development from New Deal liberal to conservative Republican. Yager assesses the influences that provoked Reagan’s transformation, beginning with the core values that he acquired during his youth and their relationship to his later political development. Throughout his lifetime, Reagan’s family and friends played a significant role in debating political ideas and advancing Republican arguments. Ronald Reagan’s Journey focuses on these important relationships as well as the intellectual influences on Reagan’s politics during the 1950s. In tracing Reagan’s political development, Yager argues that Reagan’s presidency cannot be fully understood and evaluated without significant attribution to the spiritual, political, and economic beliefs that he formed during his journey from Democrat to Republican.
As Kengor says, “Here is a book that did not get the attention it deserves. Yager captures a period of Reagan’s pre-political life, and especially Reagan’s interactions with vital but forgotten friends in Hollywood and even with his brother, Neil, that nearly everyone else has neglected.”