Great Figures of the 20th Century: Ronald Reagan

Steven F. Hayward

Hertog Foundation | 2016

Our goal with these weekend seminars will be to examine the worldviews and leadership styles of four important figures of the twentieth century, in order to surface underlying questions about statesmanship. We will ask questions such as: What is statesmanship? How does one recognize it? And if one can, in fact, speak of statesmanship, what are (or should be) its fundamental constituent components?

These seminars are not intended to be mere biographical surveys of great lives well lived. While the (relatively brief) readings will give you the background that you need, you may also want to familiarize yourself with the basic biographies of our figures, with something as simple as their Wikipedia entries. Our goal, ideally, will be to spend some time covering the basic narratives of what transpired during each figure’s career, but then to engage in extended, thoughtful seminar-style discussion of the issues that these events and narratives raise, exploring their unfolding in our past and reflecting on their implications for our future. We will hope not to simply learn about our figures – Churchill, Reagan, Thatcher, and Ben-Gurion – but from them.

Photo courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library