In the Arena: A Memoir of the 20th Century


This epic memoir is strung on the thread of the author's personal reminiscence, and is filled with fascinating anecdotes about his encounters with many famous people.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $1.99   
  • Used (6) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


This epic memoir is strung on the thread of the author's personal reminiscence, and is filled with fascinating anecdotes about his encounters with many famous people.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Former Reagan defense secretary Caspar Weinberger joins forces with Gretchen Roberts to present In the Arena: A Memoir of the 20th Century, a straightforward and detailed account that follows Weinberger from childhood to college, from Harvard Law School to WWII, and from the California State Assembly to the cabinets of three presidents. Having been on the front lines for many of the last half-century's major events, Weinberger provides close, thoughtful and conservative reports; his autobiography offers new insight into American politics and, of course, the man himself. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Weinberger's service to former presidents Nixon and Reagan spanned years that dramatically changed America and the world, so one would think that his autobiography might offer fresh and valuable insights into the events of those years. Alas, this is not the case. Even more regrettable, Weinberger reveals very little of himself. While one learns a great deal about the facts of his life (some of them very trivial, like the type of house he lived in while in Washington), one doesn't come to understand what motivated him in politics. It is particularly disappointing not to find some clues to the paradox of "Cap the Knife," as he was known, the dreaded budget cutter in the Nixon administration's Office of Management and Budget who then staunchly championed every spending request of the Department of Defense. Weinberger does carefully chronicle his life and dutifully notes his accomplishments; however, he is largely uncritical of those for whom he worked especially Reagan, a man he clearly worships and of his own activities. Recommended with caution for public libraries. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895261038
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc., An Eagle Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 478
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue 3
Ch. 1 A California Childhood 11
Ch. 2 The Finest University 33
Ch. 3 Over Here 53
Ch. 4 Over There 63
Ch. 5 Settling Down 79
Ch. 6 Legislative Liquidity 95
Ch. 7 The Big Switch 119
Ch. 8 Grand Old Politics 125
Ch. 9 Television in California 137
Ch. 10 The Governor Who Turned the State Around 147
Ch. 11 Jumping Right Off the Dock 169
Ch. 12 Dr. No, Alias "Cap the Knife" 191
Ch. 13 A First Lesson in Really Big Government 215
Ch. 14 Retirement from Public Life - Or So I Thought 253
Ch. 15 In the Arena Again 269
Ch. 16 Day-to-Day in the DOD 287
Ch. 17 The Dangers We Still Face 325
Ch. 18 The Nightmare Year 347
Ch. 19 Job Stability - At Last 373
Acknowledgments 393
Index 397
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2001

    The life of a dedicated public servant

    IN THE ARENA explores the life of a man who has dedicated his life to making America a better, safer, stronger nation. Beginning with his wartime service in the U.S. Army in the jungles of New Guinea (he still dislikes palm trees to this day), Mr. Weinberger¿s public service moves to the California State Assembly where he gains notoriety as a reformer. Soon, he is picked up by California¿s new governor, Ronald Reagan, who makes him director of finance. His skill at his job attracts notice from President Nixon, who calls him to be the budgeter at OMB, then the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. President Ford¿s defeat in 1976 brought him a few years of high-paid relief from public service at Bechtel. Then, in 1981, President Reagan called him to service once again as the Secretary of Defense, a post he held longer (almost seven years) than any other SECDEF. Throughout the book, one is struck by Mr. Weinberger¿s selfless dedication ¿ something the reader comprehends without the author¿s directly saying so. One hopes that, post 9-11, such dedication to public service will make a comeback. In the meantime, Mr. Weinberger¿s autobiography will serve as a primer for those who want to make a difference and change the world. For me, it was an especially warm read as I had the honor of serving in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1986 through 1988. During that time I met Mr. Weinberger once and participated in a few meetings in his office. Even though his wife, Jane, was in ill health at that time, I found Mr. Weinberger to be friendly, humorous, and extremely focused and smart ¿ all traits amply shown in his book, IN THE ARENA.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)