Up and Away in a Down Year

Every politician, of course, is shaped by the distinctive nature of a personal past, but few acknowledge the debt so readily as Ronald Reagan. TIME invited the President-elect to pinpoint the year that was most important in forming his views, and after some mulling, he settled on 1932. That was the year he turned 21 and went home to Dixon, III., a graduate of tiny Eureka College near Peoria. Then, after a summer of lifeguarding at Lowell Park near Dixon, he found, at radio station WOC in Davenport, Iowa, 60 miles away, a chance...

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