The Presidents Collection

I knew a guy in college who had a calendar with each month featuring a picture of Ronald Reagan on his ranch doing assorted Republican approved activities like clearing brush or riding on a horse or wearing blue jeans.  I don’t understand the cult of personality springs up around people like that.  For instance, I think that Obama is absolutely fantastic, but I would never have an Obama calendar in my room.  I might get a Bill Ayers poster, simply because I think he’s a tragic figure and a great symbol of the turmoil our nation went through.  Nonetheless, there’s a new chance to take a look at the life and presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Starting this August 26th, now available on DVD from PBS Home Video and Paramount Home Entertainment comes the definitive collection of the important and pivotal American presidents of the twentieth century.  American Experience – The Presidents Collection – Reagan is ready to come into your living room and help explain why the twentieth century turned out the way it did.  Bring home this wonderful historic show today.

This DVD boxed set contains 15 DVDs and ten episodes from American Experience.  The presidents examined are, in chronological order, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, The Kennedys, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.

This documentary is on two discs, each just under three hours long.  In the course of this documentary, we follow Reagan from his childhood in Illinois to his time in California as an actor.  He became a spokesman for GE and then involved in politics.  He switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party and was pressured to run for governor of California after his phenomenal speech in support of Barry Goldwater.  He was governor for two terms, then failed to secure the Republican nomination for president two times, then won in a landslide on his third try.  He dominated Mondale to get his second term and both his terms were marked by supply-side economics, the bombing of Libya, the invasion of Grenada, hostilities with the Soviet Union and the Iran-Contra affair.

The special features included in this DVD consist of a teacher discussion guide made to help further classroom discussion of this documentary.

Reagan was a very pivotal president.  He did make in morning in America again and gave the American people something to believe in again.  His completely fascist obsession with nuclear weapons did bankrupt the Soviet Union and led to their collapse, but his experiment with supply-side economics was an unabashed failure.  He did work to create a coalition which allowed him to accomplish some of his far-reaching goals and established an idol for Republicans to compare themselves to for decades.  This film is a great look at an iconic president and one of our most popular.

Experience this great documentary.

This DVD and the rest of the boxed set is available at

Nathaniel Jonet

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