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!” Reagan scribbles a note to Shultz asking: “Am I wrong?” Shultz replies: “No, you are right.” As the two world leaders part in dejection Gorbachev says: “I don't know what more I could have done.” Reagan replies: “You could have said yes.” Still, out of the disappointment, Reykjavik leads to the most significant nuclear arms reduction pact of the Cold War and is the pinnacle of Shultz’s career in government service.
In January 1989, George Shultz leaves the State Department. He returns to the world of ideas as a Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His committed search for peace and security continues as he travels the world as a passionate advocate for nuclear disarmament.
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. For the first time these programs will reveal Shultz’s dedicated efforts to protect his President and expose those in the White House who plotted the illegal Iran/Contra scheme. Throughout, George Shultz’s relentless determination combined with his use of national strength made him one of the most effective secretaries of state in the nation’s history. 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. But Shultz’s most remarkable and revealing portrait will be of Ronald Reagan himself. This new three-hour PBS series will be full of high drama and living history.