The Education of Ronald Reagan
The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism
Thomas W. Evans
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Based on a newly discovered collection of private papers as well as interviews and corporate documents, Thomas W. Evans links the eight years (1954-1962) in which Reagan worked for General Electric-acting as host of its television program, GE Theater, and traveling the country as the company's public-relations envoy-to his conversion to conservatism. Evans particularly focuses on the profound influence of GE executive Lemuel Boulware, who would become Reagan's political and ideological mentor. Known for his innovative corporate strategies to win over workers and his tough stance against the "excesses" of union officials, Boulware championed the core tenets of modern American conservatism-free-market fundamentalism, anticommunism, lower taxes, and limited government. Building on the ideas and influence of Boulware, Reagan would soon begin his rise as a national political figure and an icon of the American conservative movement.