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The Reagan I Knew
     

The Reagan I Knew

3.5 13
by William F. Buckley Jr.
 

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No two people were more important to American conservatism in the postwar era than William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Buckley's writings provided the intellectual underpinnings, while Reagan brought the conservative movement into the White House.

They met in 1961 when Reagan introduced a speech by Buckley. When nobody could turn on the microphone, Reagan

Overview

No two people were more important to American conservatism in the postwar era than William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Buckley's writings provided the intellectual underpinnings, while Reagan brought the conservative movement into the White House.

They met in 1961 when Reagan introduced a speech by Buckley. When nobody could turn on the microphone, Reagan climbed out a window, walked along a ledge to the locked control room, broke in, and flipped the correct switch. Buckley later described this moment as “a nifty allegory of Reagan's approach to foreign policy: the calm appraisal of a situation, the willingness to take risks, and then the decisive moment leading to lights and sound.”

For over thirty years, the two men shared jokes and vacations, advised each other on politics, and counseled each other's children. The Reagan I Knew traces the evolution of an extraordinary friendship between two American political giants.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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.)

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Library Journal

Buckley, the icon of conservative intellectuals, founder of the National Review and host of Firing Line, wrote almost 50 books and completed most of this one before his death. It offers a compilation of his correspondence with Ronald and Nancy Reagan during a friendship that began in 1961, narratives about Reagan's entire political career, a sampling of Buckley's columns, and an engaging foreword by Buckley's son, the popular novelist Christopher Buckley. The book does not live up to its promotional copy as "the most revealing portrait of Ronald Reagan the world is likely to have," because Ronald Reagan's responses to Buckley's letters are focused on politics and daily events and less introspective than they are humorous. Nevertheless, Buckley has written an enjoyable account of the Reagan years and the camaraderie he shared with the Reagans. He concludes that Reagan's legacy is his opposition to big government, his role in the fall of the Soviet Union, and his having been the nicest person to have been President. Recommended for most public libraries.
—Karl Helicher

From the Publisher
Library Journal
“Buckley has written an enjoyable account of the Reagan years and the camaraderie he shared with the Reagans.”

National Review
"There are layers of bittersweet melancholia in Bill Buckley's memoir of his 30-year friendship with Ronald Reagan. The Reagan I Knew is Buckley's final book; indeed, he was working on the finishing touches the day he died in February. The memory of Reagan, and especially the élan of ascendant conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s that Buckley's memoir rekindles, burns hotter now that conservatives find themselves in the political wilderness again."
 

Philadelphia Inquirer
"The story of the Buckley-Reagan friendship is a compelling one, and the book is an entertaining look back at the Reagan era."
 

Arkansas News
"Like any memoir, there are remembrances containing wonderful details, but Buckley adds to its richness by including a vast array of personal letters, including those between Buckley and Nancy Reagan—they shared a tight bond."
 

Deseret Morning News
"In this slim, often intimate, sometimes poignant book, Buckley, who died last February, chronicles the rise of Reagan, his governorship, his presidency and his sunset years"
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786726660
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
10/14/2008
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
855,947
File size:
269 KB

Meet the Author

William F. Buckley Jr. (1925–2008) was one of the intellectual leaders of the right for more than fifty years. The founder and editor-in-chief of National Review and host of Firing Line, he was also the author of over fifty works of fiction and nonfiction. His syndicated column, “On the Right,” began in 1962 and appeared in newspapers around the country for decades. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H.W. Bush in 1991.

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Reagan I Knew 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
stormsTC More than 1 year ago
"the reagan I knew" is a very indepth book writtion by wm f. buckley writtion through his letters and diaries. I found this to be very hard to put down as this arthur was a very dear friend of president reagan and through these fasinating corespondence I found out what reagans foreign policy was like as he shared it through these documents. mr buckley also shares some of his private comments in this exellent best seller. great gift idea for a friend or family member.
PBRaju More than 1 year ago
I did not know how deep a friendship this was, till I read this last book by Mr. William F Buckley Jr. This was a deep ideological relationship that developed into a personal friendship. More interestingly, the wonderful thread of humor all through their correspondence, whether it was Mrs.Reagan or the Governor himself. Policy influencing correspondence written with dry humor that rendered the folks involved very human and down to earth. This was a relationship that changed America in the 70s and the 80s, with the affects even felt today. Mr. Buckley, the original conservative thinker and theorist found the perfect executor of these values in Reagan, who later became the president and induced the implosion of the Soviet empire. A masterful, insightful and an evergreen lesson in letter writing to the people in power, also, a fantastic time capsule of an era that makes me yearn for a leader like Reagan. This book is a must for every American who wants to understand the two giants of conservatism at their most vulnerable, as personable humans, yet, wielding awesome power. I recommend this great little book as a treasure for everybody, including my flaming liberal friends! Raju Peddada
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