CUP Undergraduate Research


Larger Than Life: The Making of the Reagan Legend

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

History, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Gerd Horten


My thesis regards the mythologizing that has taken place in regards to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. His presidency is now seen as something completely different than how it was immediately following his leaving office. This led me to ask the question, why is this happening? By using numerous primary source documents this study finds the inaccuracies portrayed in “Reaganism”. This study also found the source of these ideas and why some groups would like “Reaganism” to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. This presentation covers a number of different topics pertaining to Ronald Reagan’s myth. The work starts with modern day politicians trying to align themselves with Ronald Reagan, and then moves towards common misconceptions regarding what Reagan stood for. Finally, the analysis progresses to the different efforts and groups that have changed the agenda of Reagan in order to benefit their own needs. Ronald Reagan is considered one of the greatest modern day presidents. This did not just happen. There is an effort that continues to try and glorify Reagan. Perhaps even you have been affected by this effort.

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