UCA scholar-in-residence in the history department, Marcus Witcher, recently had his book, “Getting Right With Reagan: Conservatives and the Fortieth President,” published Nov. 29 and appeared on C-SPAN’s “Lectures in History” series.
His new book examines the relationship conservatives have had with the 40th president, and also answers questions surrounding U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s dealings with the Cold War. “Getting Right With Reagan” also investigates how then-candidate Donald Trump went outside the parameters of Reagan’s path and won the election in 2016.
“Before, during and for a couple of years afterward, [conservatives] were quite frustrated with Reagan; it wasn’t until the mid 90s that we started to get the Reagan legacy and later myth,” Witcher said in a KTRS 550 am radio interview. “Over time, we see this sort of resurrection of Reagan.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to attend many conservative events, and I’ve found that many of them [say] ‘oh yea, we were definitely very critical of the president’,” Witcher said. “What I argue in the book is what held the conservative movement is anticommunism, but after the fall of the Berlin wall, [Reagan’s legacy] held the conservative movement together. That held true all the way up until the 2016 election, Donald Trump largely ignored the Reagan legacy…he carved out his own identity.”
His appearance on C-SPAN was at the Institute for Humane Studies and the Montgomery, Alabama chapter of the Federalist Society.
In the fall of this year, Witcher has delivered six lectures to promote his book. He spoke to students at the University of Alabama, Samford University, Faulkner College and Huntingdon College.
He has also has several op-eds published by The Washington Post. One of them focused on Reagan making racists comments to Richard Nixon, while the other was about Joe Biden bringing up his work with segregationist Senators. He is also working on a book about the 1980 presidential election in the South.
Witcher is also the faculty co-sponsor for UCA’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter and he also works for the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics.
More information about “Getting Right With Reagan” and about Witcher himself can be found at marcuswitcher.com. Witcher’s appearance on C-SPAN is available at c-span.org. A summary of “Getting Right With Reagan” can also be found at kansaspress.ku.edu.