Reagan: The Life

Reagan: The Life

by H. W. Brands


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From master storyteller and New York Times bestselling Historian H. W. Brands comes the definitive biography of a visionary and transformative president

In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. Reagan conveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan’s personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today.
     Reagan follows young Ronald Reagan as his ambition for ever larger stages compelled him to leave behind small-town Illinois to become first a radio announcer and then that quintessential public figure of modern America, a movie star. When his acting career stalled, his reinvention as the voice of The General Electric Theater on television made him an unlikely spokesman for corporate America. Then began Reagan’s improbable political ascension, starting in the 1960s, when he was first elected governor of California, and culminating in his election in 1980 as president of the United States.
     Employing archival sources not available to previous biographers and drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving members of Reagan’s administration, Brands has crafted a richly detailed and fascinating narrative of the presidential years. He offers new insights into Reagan’s remote management style and fractious West Wing staff, his deft handling of public sentiment to transform the tax code, and his deeply misunderstood relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on which nothing less than the fate of the world turned. 
     Reagan is a storytelling triumph, an irresistible portrait of an underestimated politician whose pragmatic leadership and steadfast vision transformed the nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307951144
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Pages: 832
Sales rank: 741,177
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

H. W. Brands holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. A New York Times bestselling author, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for The First American and Traitor to His Class.

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Table of Contents


Part One
Prairie Idyll: 1911–1934

Part Two
The Golden West: 1935–1962

Part Three
A Time for Choosing: 1962–1980

Part Four
Heroic Dreams: 1980–1983

Part Five
A Worthy Adversary: 1984–1986

Part Six
The Frosty Iceland Air: 1986–1988  

Part Seven
A Ranch in the Sky: 1989– 2004 703

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Reagan: The Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The parts about his life before and after office are interesting.   The part about his time in office while being informative but does not cover the full scope of his presidency.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read!  Lots of insider stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great man, great book by Professor Brands. He got it right and made it interesting from cover to cover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rank Professor Brands right up there with David McCullough and Doris Kearns Goodwin as world class historians and, luckily for us, world class writers. Reading this book is like reading a great novel! Intelligent, rich in detail and analysis....a great read! I highly recommend this book!