Through the memories of George Shultz, other cabinet members, journalists, and historians, viewers will relive the gripping tensions of these times; the fear of war in the Middle East, the shock of the barracks bombing that killed 220 Marines in Lebanon, the fall of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and the presidency of Corazon Aquino, and the delicate manipulations of summitry that helped determine the future of peace on the planet. The series will offer George Shultz’s remarkably vivid portraits of the major players on the national and world stage in the latter years of the twentieth century. © 2010 / 3 episodes @ 1 hr. ea.
Episode One introduces the new Secretary through the details of his early life, his service as a U.S. Marine, his academic career as a free-market economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as Dean of the Business School at the University of Chicago, and his early Cabinet posts as Secretary of Labor and Treasury under President Nixon.
Inside the White House, Cabinet members continue to vie for the president’s attention, putting forth competing tactics to achieve the administration’s goals. Reagan is taken with the Contras, a group of rebels fighting the Communist government in Nicaragua. While Congress had ruled out the use of Defense Department or CIA funds to help the rebels, some advisors keep bringing the issue to Reagan’s attention.
As the Iran-Contra scandal grows, a summit meeting continues in Iceland as these two leaders meet each other face-to-face for a second time to determine the future of a nuclear world. Tempers flare as Shultz realizes that Reagan will not give up the Star Wars Space Defense Initiative even if Gorbachev agrees to destroy all Soviet nuclear weapons. Gorbachev says, “If we could agree to ban research in space, I'd sign in two minutes. It's laboratory or nothing!”