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The Friends of the North End Library hosted our local North End author, Dr. Gene Kopelson the other night at the North End Library.  Gene gave a very informative talk about Ronald Reagan’s first run for President in 1968 which was unsuccessful.  Gene studied this period in history because he felt no other historian had adequately covered Reagan’s political beginnings.

The Author, Dr. Gene Kopleson, and program chairperson, Terese O’Connell

Although his book, Reagan’s 1968 Dress Rehearsal:  Ike, RFK, and Reagan’s Emergence as a World Statesman, narrates a much wider topic, Gene focused his talk on the relationship between President Eisenhower and Mr. Reagan who was not in politics at that time.  According to Gene, President Eisenhower encouraged Mr. Reagan to enter politics and gave Mr. Reagan moral and practical support.

President Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan had similar policy ideas and agreed on a smaller federal government, foreign policy though the show of military strength and threats and common sense solutions to domestic issues.

President Reagan’s Cabinet with a picture of his mentor, President Eisenhower, on the wall

Gene spent years researching his new book at both the Eisenhower and Reagan Presidential Libraries, including listening to newly uncovered audio tapes of Eisenhower and Reagan which were not previously studied by researchers.  If political history interests you, especially from a Republican perspective during the 1960s and 1970s, then this book is for you.

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