American Experience: Reagan

About This Episode


In 1988, after two terms in office, Ronald Reagan left the White House one of the most popular presidents of the 20th century -- and one of the most controversial. A failed actor, Reagan became a passionate ideologue who preached a simple gospel of lower taxes, less government, and anti-communism. One by one, his opponents underestimated him; one by one, Reagan surprised them, rising to become a president who always preferred to see America as a "shining city on a hill."