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President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    well written and well researched

    Lou Cannon was anything but a conservative, but his treatment of one of our most conservative presidents is fair and affectionate

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2004

    The Best Reagan Biography - for Now

    This is widely considered to be the best biography of the presidency of Ronald Reagan. It shows his many actions, both successful and failed, and in the end he emerges as one of America's great or near-great presidents. His work on the grand stage to confront the Soviet Union and then, with Gorbechev, to put into place the end the cold war, really stands out as bold and forward-thinking. I do not understand the other comments that say this is a democrat-written book, because I did not get that impression at all. Lou Cannon is the Reagan biographer and wrote a complimentary book about Reagan's early years as governor of California. Maybe the reader does not understand that all reputable biographies go into great detail beyond the TV image.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2004

    A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    I suffered through about half of this until I fully realized the insidious intentions of the author's attempt to bolster the lame years of the Carter presidency, and at the same time disqualify the successes of one of America's greatest leaders, in the guise of objectivety. A totally leftistly biased waste of money!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2002

    A Reagan Bio as only a democrat could write!

    Cannon's Biography of Reagan pretends to be an authoritative bio on the surface, but just a bit into it and the bile surfaces in passage after passage. His interest here is not in telling Reagans tale. It is far more insidious than that. He comes out with grinders trying to chip away at the statue of Michaelangelo's David hoping there's a gargoyle somewhere inside, and not finding anything juicy, decides to engage in 'creative' journalism to achieve an effective smearing of a man who, being stricken down by disease, cannot defend himself. This book's only value would be as fuel for a cozy fire some cold night.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    An Oscar Winning Performance

    When President Obama went on holiday in Hawaii, a list of books was released by the White House that he had taken along. One of these books was President Reagan: The Role of A Lifetime by Lou Cannon. Cannon a former reporter and prolific writer on Reagan has capped off the definitive book on the life and times of our former President Ronald Wilson Reagan.

    Another reason to look into this work is that in less than a month a centennial birthday celebration of Reagan will commence on February 6. With a generation since the Reagan years upon us, now is the time to revisit his true legacy.

    In 948 pages, Cannon does the unthinkable and that is to explore the man behind the smiling face. His conclusion into the psyche was that "Reagan may not have been a great president, but he was a great American who held a compelling vision of his country." Reagan brought optimism back in vogue when America was going through an identity crisis.

    The book starts with the final hours of the Reagan administration and the transition to the forty first President George H.W. Bush.
    Well researched with significant notation of sources, it takes the reader into an insider's view of the highs and lows of Reagan's public career from his days as an actor, spokesman, governor, and President.
    While current conservatives hail Reagan as right wing saint, he was more a pragmatist who led with simple convictions and optimistic expectations. His use of humor and charm set the course for the comeback 80s that led to the roaring 90s.

    His strengths also opened the gap to his weaknesses as a leader as detailed in the chapters "darkness at noon" and "struggles at twilight" that delves into the Iran-Contra debacle. The question of this scandal was what did the president know and when did he know it? Did he authorize arms for hostages and the funneling of funds to the Contras? Unfortunately we never get an answer and it could go any way. Reagan did not remember and with the onset of Alzheimer's disease in later years it begs so much into question. What was definitely was that over zealot underlings took it upon themselves to initiate activities that were beyond legal or unethical.

    Many tend to be nostalgic for the glory days of the Reagan years, but as always the case, the past is not as great as we tend to remember and the present not as bad as we think. However the future is full of hope and opportunity and that can be attributed to American's greatest cheerleader, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

    President Reagan: A Role of A Life Time by Lou Cannon is a must read for any student of history and politics. This book captures the human essences of this celebrated American icon, Ronald Reagan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2008

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