1980-1989 Comeback: A Tectonic Shift

Moscow collapsed under the staggering cost of the cold war

Perhaps never has the mood of a decade reversed itself so totally. The 1980s began with the worst U.S. inflation in 60 years and a deepening dread of nuclear annihilation. As they closed, inflation was making a last and unsuccessful assault on an economy that had found new resources, the Berlin Wall was tumbling down, and the Soviet empire was dissolving. The cold war was over--and the West won!

The road between was hardly a smooth climb. Ronald Reagan gave the U.S. a heady draft of optimism while reversing the direction of government policy, recasting social programs and cutting taxes. Unmatched...

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