Robert Collins examines the critical and controversial developments of the 1980s and the unmistakable influence of Ronald Reagan on their making. Portraying the former president as a complex political figure who combined ideological conservatism with political pragmatism, Collins demonstrates how Reagan's policies helped limit the scope of government, control inflation, reduce the threat of nuclear war, and defeat communism. In the 1980s other changes occurred as well, including the advent of the personal computer, a revolution in information technology, a more globalized national economy, and a restructuring of the American corporation. In the realm of culture, MTV, self-help gurus, and postmodernism realized the cultural shifts of the postwar era, creating a conflict that pitted cultural conservatism against a secular, multicultural view of the world. Entertaining and erudite, Transforming America explores the events, movements, and ideas that profoundly changed American culture and politics during an important decade.