Nation: Meet the Real Ronald Reagan

Shaped by his roots, he views the world with his own special optimism

TIME Senior Correspondent Laurence I. Barrett, who began reporting on national politics during the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign, started covering Ronald Reagan in January, and has been able to study him at close hand as he wages his fight for the White House. Here, as the campaign begins its final phase, is Barrett's assessment of the Republican candidate for President:

The Boeing 727 jet called Leadership 80 is rattling through a cobblestoned stretch of sky, descending toward its third landing of the day. In the first...

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