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Smart and Final Iris Historical Context

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Tate wrote this poem in the early 1980s, when Ronald Reagan was president of the United States. A conservative Republican and staunch advocate of a strong defense, Reagan was a militant Cold War politician who once called the Soviet Union an "evil empire." In 1981, a year after Reagan's election, Congress approved an $18 billion increase in defense spending. Part of this increase included the creation of a rapid deployment force, and the construction of the neutron bomb, a nuclear weapon that maximizes damage to people but minimizes damage to buildings and equipment. Reagan's hard-line stance against arms control as a means of dealing with the Soviet military threat included public statements about the Unites States' chances of winning a "limited" nuclear war by confining losses to Europe. However, the nuclear freeze movement, a group dedicated to halting the production and proliferation of nuclear weapons, made it more difficult for...

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This section contains 483 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Smart and Final Iris Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Smart and Final Iris from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.