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Jack Ryan, Reaganite Hero – The Atlantic



When Ryan made his debut in Clancy's novel The Hunt for Red October in 1984, very few people predicted that the character would become so enduring in American culture. Clancy, an insurance agent who wanted to join the military but was rejected for poor vision, published his first book with the Naval Institute Press for a small $ 5,000 advance. Red October- A tricky spy thriller in the Cold War, packed with technical details – sold better than expected, even more so when President Ronald Reagan praised the book unexpectedly as "my kind of yarn" vendor lists

What exactly Was it Ryan who made Reagan so convincing? It was the breadth of Clancy's military and foreign policy knowledge (the 40th President is to prepare Clancy's 1

986 novel Red Storm Rising the same year for a meeting with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev). But there is also the fact that Ryan is the true embodiment of Reaganite values. He is a former Marine who (in the books) injured his back in a helicopter accident while serving in Greece. He is a devoted family man, happily married to his wife Cathy, with whom he eventually has four children. He is a self-made millionaire who raised his personal fortune on the stock market before writing a PhD in history at Georgetown University. And above all, he is personally inviolable. No wrong politician can influence him; Jack Ryan only bows in honor and truth.

Ryan, in short, is a Cold War fantasy. When Superman stands for truth, justice and the American way, Jack Ryan stands for capitalism, the family unit and a strong skepticism towards politicians of all stripes. When Jason Bourne and James Bond offer escapism and liberation from moral constraints, Ryan is healthy to the core. Clancy novels have long been devoured by men in the daddy family, and that's because Tom Clancy (like Jack Ryan) promises that the ordinary can be just extraordinary. A modest insurance agent can become the bestselling writer of the 1980s and a partner in the Baltimore Orioles. A modest CIA analyst can save the free world so many times that despite his numerous objections, he becomes his leader. For the readers, Clancy has "not only told of a fighter jet, he let you fly," argued a Atlantic author in 2013.

A problem with the translation of Jack Ryan's Everyman Magic on the screen is that the story tends to get in the way. When the hunt for Red October hit theaters, the Cold War was practically over. In order not to damage the relations between the US and Russia, the film contained a disclaimer before he began to say that the events described (1) had taken place before Gorbachev was elected Leader, and (2) were fictitious. Although the film was a great success, Baldwin was unceremoniously dumped for Harrison Ford for the 1992 Ryan film Patriot Games while director John McTiernan was replaced by Phillip Noyce. In 2001, McTiernan claimed that his and Baldwin's Irish heritage would have complicated the plot of the film, in which Ryan goes head-to-head with an Irish Republican Army terrorist played by Sean Bean.


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