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Media Advisory

UC Berkeley Professors are available for comment about Reagan's years as California governor and US president

07 June 2004

ATTENTION: Reporters writing about former President Ronald Reagan's life, legacy

Contact: Media Relations
(510) 642-3734

Several professors at the University of California, Berkeley, are available for comment about Reagan's years as California governor and U.S. president and about his impact on the Cold War, on how politicians view federal budget deficits, and on AIDS research.

Broadcast reporters seeking interviews with any of the scholars listed below should contact Julie Huang at Media Relations at (510) 642-6051 or jch@pa.urel.berkeley.edu.

Richard M. Abrams
Professor of history, associate dean of International and Area Studies
Phone: (510) 517- 0462
Expertise: Teaches modern U.S. history and can comment on Reagan as governor and president.

Alan J. Auerbach
Professor of economics and law, director of UC Berkeley's Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance
Office phone: (510) 643-0711
E-mail: auerbach@econ.berkeley.edu
Expertise: Reagan's impact on federal budget deficits. Auerbach says Reagan's most lasting contribution was changing the perspective on federal budget deficits so that politicians no longer fear them or consider them wrong. "Our current mess couldn't have occurred without the Reagan presidency," he says.

George Breslauer
Professor of political science specializing in Soviet and post-Soviet leaders. Dean of the Division of Social Sciences
Phone: (510) 642-5195
E-mail: bresl@socrates.Berkeley.edu
Expertise: The Reagan-Gorbachev relationship and how it made possible the quick end of the Cold War. He contends that Reagan and Gorbachev were made for each other, that each was a romantic who thought outside the box and dreamed big dreams and that this created the chemistry between them. Breslauer believes the Cold War would not have ended as quickly as it did were either of these two men not in office.

Bruce Cain
Professor of political science and director of the campus's Institute of Governmental Studies
Phone: (510) 642-1739
Expertise: Reagan's policies and their influence on California, the nation and the world.

David Kirp
Professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy
Office phone: (510) 642-7531
E-mail: kirp@uclink4.berkeley.edu
Expertise: Sociology, political science and education. He is author of several books, including, "Learning by Heart: AIDS and Schoolchildren in America's Communities" (Rutgers University Press, 1994). Kirp says that "the Great Communicator literally never mentioned the word AIDS until 1987; his administration took a too little, too late policy. The United States was slow off the mark in financing research on HIV causes, treatments and vaccines, and that affected the spread of the disease at home and internationally. In terms of political symbolism, denial at the highest levels made it easier for others to minimize the impact of the epidemic and/or treat AIDS as a moral, not a public policy, concern."

Gerald Lubenow
Publications director, Institute of Governmental Studies
Phone: (510) 642-5158
Expertise: Former reporter for Newsweek, covered Reagan as governor from 1969 to 1974; his 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns; and his 1980 transition to the White House.