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Article
History, Collective Memory, and the Appropriation of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Reagan's Rhetorical Legacy
Presidential Studies Quarterly
  • Denise M. Bostdorff, The College of Wooster
  • Steven R. Goldzwig, Marquette University
Document Type
Article
Language
eng
Format of Original
30 p.
Publication Date
12-1-2005
Publisher
Wiley
Original Item ID
doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2005.00271.x
Disciplines
Abstract
This article argues that President Ronald Reagan appropriated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words and memory to suggest equal opportunity in the United States had been largely achieved. Individuals—rather than the government—now had to take responsibility for any additional progress. By arguing that the dismantling of federal civil rights laws and social programs was actually consistent with Dr. King's words, President Reagan advanced his own agenda for civil rights in direct violation of Dr. King's intentions, while narrowing the purview of civil rights to eliminate government intervention in employment, education, and other arenas.
Comments

Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 4 (December 2005): 661-690. DOI.

Citation Information
Denise M. Bostdorff and Steven R. Goldzwig. "History, Collective Memory, and the Appropriation of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Reagan's Rhetorical Legacy" Presidential Studies Quarterly (2005) ISSN: 0360-4918
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/steven_goldzwig/14/