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Buckley worked on this book-commemorating his 30-relationship with Ronald Reagan-up to his final days. He struggles to paint a picture of a more private Reagan, but the book sheds little fresh insight; instead, it is a scattershot compilation of Buckley's reminiscences and reprinted correspondence between the author and Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Malcolm Hillgartner performs a good balancing act, shifting from the essays to the letters with subtle changes that clearly indicate whose letter is being read. His most impressive feat is creating a clear yet subdued voice within the reading to indicate when footnotes or asides for clarification are being made. A Basic Books hardcover. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.