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"Reagan has gone down in history as one of our greatest presidents," Shirley said. "Carter has gone down in history as one of our worst presidents."

Ronald Reagan's spirit, 39 years later, still soars free →

"We'll begin by identifying the numerous crises Reagan encountered and confronted during his presidency — from the firing of air traffic controllers to Soviet shootdown of Flight 007 to Reagan's meeting with Gorbachev in Reykjavik," says Mr. Shirley. "Reagan's optimism was a defining feature of his governing philosophy and one that had a unifying quality. I hope students will gain a deeper understanding of why many historians regard Reagan as one of our four greatest presidents and how his leadership style played a pivotal role in his many achievements."

Inside the Beltway: Ronald Reagan, the college course →

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