In Ronald Reagan's view, freedom was America's defining characteristic. Free society, however, depended on a number of elements that require deliberate cultivation. This foundation included political components like: decentralized and limited government, constitutionalism, and a discourse of freedom; the economic freedom found in a healthy market economy; social factors such as family, religion, and civil society; and a world strategy that could maintain the nation's security and independence. In addition, it was important to construct a durable electoral coalition capable of supporting limited government policies. This work examines Reagan's approach to each of these questions. What was his understanding of a free society? What strategy did he pursue in each area? What were the effects of his efforts? This work argues that Reagan's politics of freedom-found in his discourse, policy, and coalition-building achieved significant successes in the 1980s and beyond.
Of all the books written praising or blaming Ronald Reagan, Andrew Busch's book is the best account of Ronald Reagan's understanding of his own statesmanship and the most comprehensive account of the architectonic character of that 'Statesmanship of Liberty'.--Mickey Craig, Hillsdale College