cover image Beyond Reagan: The New Landscape of American Politics

Beyond Reagan: The New Landscape of American Politics

Jerry Hagstrom. W. W. Norton & Company, $18.95 (319pp) ISBN 978-0-393-02521-7

Who is better off in the eighth year of the Conservative revolution, who is worse off, and why? Hagstrom (coauthor of The Book of America) explains how President Reagan's re-armament program overwhelmed his budget-balancing plans, increased the national debt and caused drastic disparities between the country's seven regions. California ""has continued on its road to domination of American politics and cultural life'' and the 1980s have reaffirmed the Mid-Atlantic as ``the most prosperous, stable and diversified region,'' but the Reagan years ``have been crueller to the Great Lakes states than any other region in the country.'' The book focuses on a wide variety of ongoing issues: the ``dumbing down'' of school textbooks, municipal corruption and the increasing numbers of homeless citizens. Hagstrom provides background material on the current Presidential hopefuls, assessing, for instance, Michael Dukakis's contribution to the ``economic miracle'' in New England. (April)