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Horns of a Dilemma

Nov 27, 2022

Before he became governor of California and later president of the United States, Ronald Reagan was an actor. In the 1940 film, Knute Rockne: All American, Reagan portrayed Notre Dame running back George Gipp who, on his deathbed from pneumonia, told Coach Rockne to have the team "win just one for the Gipper." Rockne related the line to his team in a moving speech, which inspired them to come from behind to upset an undefeated West Point team in 1928. Reagan used the line "win one for the Gipper" extensively during his presidency, referring to himself as "the Gipper." In this week's Horns of a Dilemma, Texas National Security Review editor-in-chief Will Inboden joins Editorial Board Chair Frank Gavin to discuss Inboden's new biography of Reagan, Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan,  the Cold War, and the World on the Brink. As Inboden points out, many of Reagan's signature victories, including his pivotal role in defeating the Soviet Union in the Cold War, seem inevitable in retrospect, but at the time, they were often seen as anything but inevitable. Reagan's unwavering faith in his vision for the country was often at odds with expert assessments. Inboden and Gavin discuss the faith, fortunes, and failures that marked Reagan's presidency. This is a rich discussion that helps cast Reagan's achievements in a new light, and promotes a deeper understanding of just what a remarkable achievement it was to secure a peaceful American victory in the Cold War.