Nation: Reagan the Historian

Maybe his sense of apocalypse is heightened by living so close to the San Andreas Fault. During a fund-raising luncheon at his alma mater. Illinois' Eureka College. California's Governor Ronald Reagan applied a truculently ominous—// extremely loose —interpretation of history to the condition of the U.S. "The young men of Rome began avoiding military service," said Reagan, who tripped up a hit on the distinction between Spengler's Decline of the West and Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. "[They] took to wearing feminine-like hairdos and garments, until it became difficult to tell the sexes apart. Among the teachers and...

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