UCSB Santa Barbara Department of History logo

New York Times catches Prof. Kalman at Reagan Library

Reporter finds UCSB prof. poring over newly released documents.
Update Dec. 8: Prof. Lichtenstein commentary on CNN.

CNN, Dec. 8, 2008: “Chicago factory sit-in fits nation’s mood,” by Nelson Lichtenstein and Christopher Phelps.
The article begins: “– The factory occupation by 200 workers at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago, Illinois, recalls one of the most storied moments in American history, when thousands of Depression-era workers took over their own workplaces, seeking union recognition and better wages.”The pivotal battle began on the morning of December 30, 1936, when shop activists shut down a General Motors factory in Flint, Michigan, to restore the jobs of three of their workmates fired by the company. From the windows, they sang in rowdy camaraderie: …”

The Dec. 7, 2008 Business section of the New York Times published an article by reporter Rebecca Cathcart about 750,000 documents newly released at the Reagan library in Simi Valley. Photographer Monica Almeida captured her in this photograph.

The article reads in part:

At the library here on Thursday, Laura Kalman, a history professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, pored over a memorandum written by 1980 campaign strategists.

Ms. Kalman, who said she was starting research for a book on the rise of conservatism after Watergate, adjusted her glasses and read aloud from the memorandum: “One should never underestimate the power and viciousness of the Carter campaign.” In 1976 Mr. Carter captured the presidency from Gerald R. Ford, who had narrowly defeated Mr. Reagan for the Republican nomination.

The papers shed new light on a time of soul-searching for American conservatives, Ms. Kalman said, after Watergate, Nixon’s resignation and Ford’s defeat in his bid for a full term. They also illustrate a campaign that was tightly organized, hard fought and full of surprises.

“There’s a lot of texture here,” she said. “You get to see them rebuilding the campaign from the ground up.” This happened after Reagan and his top aides fired the campaign director, John Sears, reportedly because he had tried to corral Reagan, who had his own strong ideas about how to connect to voters.

For the full article, click the link below.

hm 12/8/08