Best Books About Ronald Reagan
Note: This page is still under construction. All links underlined in blue work as stated. Links in Black link to Amazon page with titles to multiple books on this President
Hailed by the New Yorker as “a superlative study of a president and his presidency,” Lou Cannon’s President Reagan remains the definitive account of our most significant presidency in the last fifty years. Ronald Wilson Reagan, the first actor to be elected president, turned in the performance of a lifetime. But that performance concealed the complexities of the man, baffling most who came in contact with him. Who was the man behind the makeup? Only Lou Cannon, who covered Reagan through his political career, can tell us. The keenest Reagan-watcher of them all, he has been the only author to reveal the nature of a man both shrewd and oblivious. Based on hundreds of interviews with the president, the First Lady, and hundreds of the administration’s major figures, President Reagan takes us behind the scenes of the Oval Office. Cannon leads us through all of Reagan’s roles, from the affable cowboy to the self-styled family man; from the politician who denounced big government to the president who created the largest peace-time deficit; from the statesman who reviled the Soviet government to the Great Communicator who helped end the cold war.
In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. Reaganconveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan’s personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today.
In this enlightening new look at one of our most successful, most popular, and least understood presidents, bestselling author and former Reagan aide Dinesh D’Souza shows how this “ordinary” man was able to transform the political landscape in a way that made a permanent impact on America and the world. Ronald Reagan is a thoughtful and honest assessment of how this underestimated president became a truly extraordinary leader.
With absolute authority and a keen eye for the details and the anecdotes that humanize history, Ronald Reagan takes the reader behind the scenes of his extraordinary career, from his first political experiences as president of the Screen Actors Guild (including his first meeting with a beautiful young actress who was later to become Nancy Reagan) to such high points of his presidency as the November 1985 Geneva meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev, during which Reagan invited the Soviet leader outside for a breath of fresh air and then took him off for a walk and a man-to-man chat, without aides, that set the course for arms reduction and charted the end of the Cold War.
Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America by Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson
Until Alzheimer’s disease wreaked its gradual destruction, Ronald Reagan was an inveterate writer. He wrote not only letters, short fiction, poetry, and sports stories, but speeches, newspaper articles, and radio commentary on public policy issues, both foreign and domestic.
In this provocative and stunningly insightful memoir, Donald T. Regan takes us down the corridors of power in Washington and into the heart of the Reagan Administration. For the Record is frank and revealing. It is an analysis of the Reagan Presidency — and an account of the personalities of Washington’s movers and shakers — written by a man once called “the second-most powerful man in America.”
Ronald Reagan is hailed today for a presidency that restored optimism to America, engendered years of economic prosperity, and helped bring about the fall of the Soviet Union. Yet until now little attention has been paid to the role Reagan’s personal spirituality played in his political career, shaping his ideas, bolstering his resolve, and ultimately compelling him to confront the brutal — and, not coincidentally, atheistic — Soviet empire.
At first, Reagan suffered from political amateurism, an inexperienced staff, and ideological blind spots. But he quickly learned to take the measure of the Democrats who controlled the State Legislature and surprised friends and foes alike by agreeing to a huge tax increase, which made it possible for him to govern for eight years without additional tax hikes. He developed an environmental policy that preserved the state ‘s scenic valleys and wild rivers, and he signed into law what was then the nation’s most progressive declaration on abortion rights. His quixotic 1968 presidential campaign revealed his higher ambitions to the world and taught him how much he had to learn about big-league politics.
As a young speechwriter in the Reagan White House, Peter Robinson was responsible for the celebrated “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech. He was also one of a core group of writers who became informal experts on Reagan — watching his every move, absorbing not just his political positions, but his personality, manner, and the way he carried himself. In How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life, Robinson draws on journal entries from his days at the White House, as well as interviews with those who knew the president best, to reveal ten life lessons he learned from the fortieth president — a great yet ordinary man who touched the individuals around him as surely as he did his millions of admirers around the world.
Ron Reagan celebrates the centenary of his father’s birth by visiting the towns that shaped him to share both his own memories and a uniquely privileged portrait of a young “Dutch” Reagan. My Father at 100 illuminates a father, a husband, a friend, and finally a human being with his own fears and foibles, yet armed with a set of unshakeable principles that he sought to instill not only in his son, but also in the country he so fiercely loved.
On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was just seventy days into his first term of office when John Hinckley Jr. opened fire outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, wounding the president, press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent, and a D.C. police officer. For years, few people knew the truth about how close the president came to dying, and no one has ever written a detailed narrative of that harrowing day. Now, drawing on exclusive new interviews and never-before-seen documents, photos, and videos, Del Quentin Wilber tells the electrifying story of a moment when the nation faced a terrifying crisis that it had experienced less than twenty years before, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The Iran-Contra scandal rocked the Reagan presidency to its core in late 1986 and 1987. This text examines the efforts of the Reagan administration to recover its public credibility in the 12 months following the exposure of controversial covert operations. Via comparative analysis it explores the impact of scandal upon the presidential office, the problems which confronted President Reagan during Iran-Contra and the centrality of damage-control efforts to the well-being of the modern presidency.
Jules Tygiel’s biography of Ronald Reagan engages students with the compelling story of the man who went from Hollywood actor to President of the United States. This balanced profile considers both the accomplishments and failures of Reagan’s presidency, as well as the contested legacy of his political career even after his death. Incorporating the latest scholarship, Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservatism examines Reagan both as an individual and in the larger context of the conservative movement.
Ronald Reagan in Hollywood explores the relationship between the motion picture industry and American politics through the prism of Reagan’s film career at Warner Bros. During the Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War era, the film industry served as a ‘grand, world-wide propaganda base’ using movies to influence attitudes about patriotism, national defence, communism, the welfare state, race, sex, and civil liberties. Ronald Reagan thrived in this environment. During his years in Hollywood from 1937 to 1952 he formed many of the ideas which were later carried into his presidency. Not merely a star, Reagan also became an articulate industry spokesperson and skilled propagandist, playing an important role in the battle to ‘capture the minds’ of humanity in the struggle against communism. By the time he left Warner Bros. in 1952, Reagan had abandoned his New Deal liberalism and had become a militant anti-communist. Based on hundreds of interviews (including some with Reagan himself), formerly secret FBI files, and material from more than 150 archival collections, this is the most comprehensive book on this subject to date, providing incisive analysis of Reagan’s formative years in Hollywood.
National bestseller: In this brilliantly readable book, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist chronicles the Reagan decade, when America fell from dominant world power to struggling debtor nation and when optimism turned to foreboding. In human terms and living case histories, Haynes Johnson captures the drama and tragedy of an era nurtured by greed and a morality that found virtue in not getting caught.
Over a decade in the making, and filled with fresh revelations, surprising insights, and an unerring eye for the telling detail, this provocative and authoritative book recalls a time when true leadership inspired a fallen nation to pick itself up, hold its head high, and take up the cause of freedom once again.
The Age of Reagan brings to life the tumultuous decade and a half that preceded Ronald Reagan’s ascent to the White House. Drawing on scores of interviews and years of research, Steven F. Hayward takes us on an engrossing journey through the most politically divisive years the United States has had to endure since the decade before the Civil War.
The Crusader makes use of key sources from behind the Iron Curtain, including one key memo that implicates a major American liberal politician–still in office today–in a scheme to enlist Soviet premier Yuri Andropov to help defeat Reagan’s 1984 reelection bid. Such new finds make The Crusader not just a work of extraordinary history, but a work of explosive revelation that will be debated as hotly in 2006 as Reagan’s policies were in the 1980s.
The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism by Thomas W. Evans
In October 1964, Ronald Reagan gave a televised speech in support of Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. “The Speech,” as it has come to be known, helped launch Ronald Reagan as a leading force in the American conservative movement. However, less than twenty years earlier, Reagan was a prominent Hollywood liberal, the president of the Screen Actors Guild, and a fervent supporter of FDR and Harry Truman. While many agree that Reagan’s anticommunism grew out of his experiences with the Hollywood communists of the late 1940s, the origins of his conservative ideology have remained obscure.
Ronald Reagan left behind a legacy that America willnever forget. Now, in this one-of-a-kind collection of his most intimatethoughts, his favorite quotations by others, and his own most collectiblejokes, all culled from a newly disclosed set of personal notecards he keptthroughout his life and career, fans and admirers of the fortieth presidentwill find a unique window of insight into the soul of an American icon. Editedby Douglas Brinkley, editor of #1 NewYork Times bestseller The ReaganDiaries, this indispensible Reagan retrospective is perfect for fathers,graduates, and anyone looking to find inspiration in the thoughts and musingsof a great American leader.
The Quotable Ronald Reagan includes Reagan’s most memorable quotations on a wide variety of topics. These quotes capture the essence of Reagan’s personality, wit, and charm-demonstrating why he was called the great communicator.
During his two terms as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary in which he recorded, by hand, his innermost thoughts and observations on the extraordinary, the historic, and the routine day-to-day occurrences of his presidency. Now, nearly two decades after he left office, this remarkable record—the only daily Presidential diary in American history—is available for the first time.
Ronald Reagan is more than a revered and popular president–he is a hero to millions, beloved as a persuasive leader who inspired America and shaped the future more than any other modern president. Reagan’s everyman insight–stemming from his unique background as actor, sports broadcaster, and labor leader–make him America’s most quotable president. In The Wit & Wisdom of Ronald Reagan, author James C. Humes brings together the best observations and opinions of the “Great Communicator.” Spanning one-liners, anecdotes, zingers, and little-known stories, this collection also includes commentary about Reagan from friends and foes as well as analysis of his great speeches. The Wit & Wisdom of Ronald Reagan is an exceptional tribute to America’s adored fortieth president.
Using the Star Wars missile defense program as a magnifying glass on his presidency, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Frances FitzGerald gives us a wholly original portrait of Ronald Reagan. Drawing on extensive research, FitzGerald shows how Reagan managed to get billions in funding for a program that was technologically impossible by exploiting the fears of the American public. The Reagan who emerges from FitzGerald’s book was a gifted politician with a deep understanding of the national psyche, and an executive almost totally disengaged from the policies of his administration. Both appalling and funny,Way Out There in the Blue is the most penetrating study of Reagan’s presidency to date.
On the hundredth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth comes the twentieth-anniversary edition of Peggy Noonan’s critically acclaimed bestseller What I Saw at the Revolution, for which she provides a new Preface that demonstrates this book’s timeless relevance. As a special assistant to the president, Noonan worked with Ronald Reagan—and with Vice President George H. W. Bush—on some of their most memorable speeches. Noonan shows us the world behind the words, and her sharp, vivid portraits of President Reagan and a host of Washington’s movers and shakers are rendered in inimitable, witty prose. Her priceless account of what it was like to be a speechwriter among bureaucrats, and a woman in the last bastion of male power, makes this a Washington memoir that breaks the mold—as spirited, sensitive, and thoughtful as Peggy Noonan herself.
No one has ever captured Ronald Reagan like Peggy Noonan. In When Character Was King, Noonan brings her own reflections on Reagan to bear as well as new stories—from Presidents George W. Bush and his father, George H. W. Bush, his Secret Service men and White House colleagues, his wife, his daughter Patti Davis, and his close friends—to reveal the true nature of a man even his opponents now view as a maker of big history. Marked by incisive wit and elegant prose, When Character Was King will both enlighten and move readers. It may well be the last word on Ronald Reagan, not only as a leader but as a man.