LinkedIn tracking pixel

Reagan’s 1968 Dress Rehearsal: Ike, RFK, and Reagan’s Emergence as a World Statesman

Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 4:00pm - 5:00pm


You are cordially invited to a book lecture with

Dr. Gene Kopelson

for his book

 Reagan’s 1968 Dress Rehearsal: Ike, RFK, and Reagan’s Emergence as a World Statesman

Wednesday, March 28th
4:00 – 5:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C.





About the Book: Reagan’s 1968 Dress Rehearsal: Ike, RFK, and Reagan’s Emergence as a World Statesman is an inspiring never-before-told history of how Ronald Reagan first began to restore pride in America when he first ran for president in the late 1960s. Against the back-drop history of Reagan’s first campaign for the presidency, it can now be revealed that behind the scenes, none other than former President Dwight Eisenhower was Ronald Reagan’s hidden political mentor. In fact throughout the 1960s, Ronald Reagan was tutored by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower: how to enter politics, and then how to run his 1966 gubernatorial primary, and then general election campaigns. Eisenhower even counseled Reagan on how to fight charges of antiSemitism and critiqued Reagan’s speaking style. Reagan followed Eisenhower’s political advice virtually to the letter, and indeed Reagan based his 1966 campaign theme (common sense) and campaign persona (the citizen politician) on Ike. Ike certified him as presidential timbre, said he would endorse Reagan for president if he were the 1968 nominee, urged him to run for president as California’s favorite son, and may actually have favored political winner Reagan over loser Nixon as the 1968 Republican nominee.

Ronald Reagan’s 1968 campaign was a crucial dress rehearsal for his ultimate triumph in 1980. During 1968, Reagan became a world statesman and shaped his crusade to restore pride in America. For Reagan, Ike’s tutelage was critical. Indeed Ronald Reagan now may be seen as one of Dwight Eisenhower’s proteges and his major political heir. This political mentorship changed America’s national priorities through the end of Reagan’s presidency, whose effects still are very much with us today.


About the Speaker: Gene Kopelson is president of the New England chapter, on the Board of Trustees and Book Prize committee, of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, an active Churchillian, and a holocaust educator. As a historian, he has published works on Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, Ronald Reagan’s 1966 campaign and Mexican American voters, the 1968 Nebraska and Oregon Republican primaries, and Washington State Republican politics in the 1960s. The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial featured his research on Robert F. Kennedy as an inspiration to Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. His research on Reagan and Eisenhower was featured in 2015 at the 125thCommemoration of the Birth of Dwight Eisenhower at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.

When not researching and writing history, Dr. Gene Kopelson is a cancer physician. He has published over forty medical articles, contributed chapters in medical textbooks, and lectured in the U.S. and abroad on radiation oncology.


IWP EVENTS POLICY: Attendance at all IWP events requires registration in advance. If you purchased a ticket for an IWP event, these tickets are non-refundable. IWP reserves the right to ask for a government-issued ID that matches your name on the confirmed attendee list. Please note that general seating for public events is on a first-come, first serve basis. The use of photographic and/or recording equipment is prohibited except by advanced permission from IWP, the event organizer, and the speaker(s). Please contact with any inquries. IWP reserves the right to prohibit photographic and/or recording equipment, either in advance of, immediately before, or during an event. The Institute’s dress code requires attire appropriate for a professional setting. This helps to ensure a positive learning environment and a climate conducive to respectful interaction. The Institute of World Politics is not responsible for lost or stolen property. IWP is a private organization; as such, all attendees are guests of the Institute. The purpose of IWP events is to promote academic discourse on a variety of issues related to the subjects taught at our school. Please note that the views expressed by our guest lecturers do not necessarily reflect the views of The Institute of World Politics.