From the publisher's description: "In Transforming America, renowned historian Robert Collins examines the decade's critical and controversial developments and the unmistakable influence of Ronald Reagan. Moving beyond conventional depictions that either demonize or sanctify Reagan, Collins offers fresh insights into his thought and influence. He portrays Reagan as a complex political figure who combined ideological conservatism with political pragmatism to achieve many of his policy aims. Collins demonstrates how Reagan's policies helped to limit the scope of government, control inflation, reduce the threat of nuclear war, and defeat communism. Collins also shows how the simultaneous ascendancy of the right in politics and the left in culture created a divisive legacy."