President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime

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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...

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Second Good [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ] [ Edition: Second ] Publisher: Touchstone Books Pub Date: 2/1/1992 Binding: Paperback Pages: 960.

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
No journalist enjoys a closer working relationship with Ronald Reagan, his friends, and advisors than Cannon, who has covered the Reagan beat for a quarter of a century. Combining scores of interviews, including three with Reagan, with authoritative journalism, Cannon has written what may be the best contemporary political history of the Reagan years. Unlike most modern presidents whose frame of reference is analytical and political, Cannon reveals how Reagan was shaped by his acting career. Far from being a Hollywood refugee, Reagan is credited with reviving national confidence and not being the demagogue that his opponents perceived him to be. While Reagan succeeded at establishing the national agenda, numerous ethical scandals, the savings and loan debacle, and the unraveling of foreign policy proved the presidency to be beyond Reagan's abilities. Transcending the many self-serving kick-and-tell potboilers, Cannon's absorbing, informative account will be the basis for all future studies. Highly recommended for most public and academic libraries.-- Karl Helicher, Upper Marion Township Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671755768
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 2/28/1992
  • Pages: 960

Meet the Author

Lou Cannon covered Ronald Reagan for more than twenty-five years, first as a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and later as the Washington Post White House correspondent. Cannon is the author of two previously published books on Reagan and, most recently, Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD. He lives in Summerland, California, just five miles outside of Santa Barbara.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    Well-balanced, gets spirit of Reagan

    This is an amazing book, and should definitely be read. Reagan was a unique president and like all others had flaws. While not being patronizing, Cannon manages to expose these flaws gently, yet contrasting them with the more positive qualities, those that everyone saw and deeply admired. Contrary to what the other reviewer said, this is a definitive read on Ronald Reagan.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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