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Posted October 6, 2004
Bob Colocello has produced an honorable, historically valuable, and oh-so readable account of the formation of America's two most iconoclastic political figures. Honorable because given the unique, extraordinary access he enjoyed to the Reagan family and their closest friends Mr. Colocello resisted the temptation to quickly write a hugely popular and profitable, juicy, inside-gossipy, but simplistic piece of hard-backed journalism. This decision also surely involved fending off, tolerating, and finally ignoring incessant pleas from friends,family and editors in an impatient chorus of, 'Where is it already?' 'Hurry up or soon nobody will still be interested in the Reagans anymore.' Instead, Mr. Colocello hunkered down and researched, researched, researched, devoting five or six years to understanding the formation of the now near-mythical Ronald and Nancy Reagan, finally producing 'Ronnie and Nancy', a brilliant, meticulously detailed itinerary of the unplanned, unexpected odyssey of two normal, not at all politically ambitious people, from middle class America to the White House; to counting some of history's most meaningful world leaders (i.e. Gorbachev, Thatcher) as their friends, and for those same historical figures to consider themselves blessed by the friendship of the Reagans. It is an exquisite work. 'Ronnie and Nancy' is the American Dream if ever there was one, told with an historian's detail and detachment, combined with a popular writer's ability to combine those facts with the human, page-turning material that describes how hard it was, yet how good it was. The passages in which the author quotes people who were there from the beginning to the end, the legendary Kitchen Cabinet, are priceless in their charm of intimacy and authenticity. I loved this book. I know of no other like it. And because of it I will never again be able to look at a major political figure and his wife or her husband, of whatever ideologogy, without sympathy for how hard and long a road he or she traveled to get there, to be scorned or lionized, but to make a huge difference. 'Ronnie and Nancy' ends as the movie actor, then Governor of California, is elected President of the United States of America. The eight White House years and beyond will appear in a second volume. This reader can hardly wait. Some 0ne hundred thousand books are published every year in America. 'Ronnie and Nancy' is one of the few important ones. --------------------------------------------- Burt Boyar, the writer of this review was a daily columnist for the Newhouse and Annenberg newspapers. He is the N.Y. Times #1 Best Selling Author, with his late wife, Jane, of Sammy Davis Jr.'s autobiographies, 'Yes I Can' and 'Why Me?', the novel 'World Class' and the historical books, 'Hitler Stopped By Franco' and 'H.L. and Lyda: Growing up in the H.L. Hunt and Lyda Bunker Hunt Family as told by their eldest daughter.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.