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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Communicator Writes Too!,
This review is from: Ronald Reagan: An American Life (Paperback)The Great Communicator has done it again! “An American Life” takes the reader from his birth in Tampico, Illinois to the return to California with mission accomplished. Ronald Reagan earned the moniker “The Great Communicator” for his ability to reach an audience. “An American Life” proves that he could do it in ink too. His writing is direct, easy to follow and engaging. The theme of the book is the optimistic world view of the Reagan we knew. There is little introspection. Reagan knew what he believed and told it with gusto! Many of the stories are ones with which we are familiar. This book is the Gipper’s exposition of his belief in family values and the individual. The readers are drawn into the issues which defined the Reagan Administration.
As a frequent traveler in Reagan’s native region in Northern Illinois, I found the narratives of his youth in Galesburg and Dixon and his years at Eureka College to be particularly interesting. The reader follows Reagan to Iowa and on to California. The sections on Reagan’s years in Hollywood give the reader an insight into the movie world. The chapters on Reagan’s involvement with the Screen Actors’ Guild focus on his opposition to Communist domination of the industry.
Reagan’s years in California politics are related with may of the stories we have heard, such as the student protesters who entered his office to tell him that his generation could not understand them because he did not grow up with the modern conveniences, to which he replied that his generation had invented them.
Reagan tells of his conversion, which began with the General Electric tour in the 1950s, from a liberal Democrat to a conservative Republican and from a reluctant candidate to an enthusiastic agent of destiny. From a reluctant governor, Reagan matured to a candidate who sought the presidency, not to be somebody, but to do something.
In the sections on his presidential years, Reagan goes through the issues, such as tax reductions, the military buildup, Supreme Court appointments, Middle Eastern diplomacy and Soviet relations. The exhilaration of the return of hostages contrasts with the pain of the return of bodies and disasters, such as the Challenger. Reagan’s dealings with the Soviets pulled his car up and down the roller coaster of emotions.
On these pages we are made privy to turning points, such as his refusal to run for vice-president in 1976, Ford’s refusal to run for veep in 1980, and the considerations involved in decisions dealing with SDI. His relationship with Margaret Thatcher is seen as one of the crucial partnerships of the Twentieth Century.
“An American Life” lacks the analysis of Dinesh D’Souza’s “Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became An Extraordinary Leader” (see my amazon review), but in it the Gipper tells his story. D’Souza says that an ordinary man became an extraordinary leader. In “An American Life” an ordinary man has written an extraordinary book.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ronaldus Magnus,
This review is from: An American Life: The Autobiography (Hardcover)In this 1990 autobiography, ex-President Ronald "Dutch" Reagan tells the story of his life, from his birth in Tampico, Illinois in 1911, to the end of his term as President of the United States in 1988. Moving along with a gentle humor and an unpretentious openness that endeared the "Gipper" to a nation, the book gives the reader a fascinating look into the real life of America's fortieth President.
I must admit that I am far from impartial when it comes to President Reagan. I came of age during the Carter malaise, and the advent of Ronald Reagan seemed like a complete rebirth of the country to my young mind. In this wonderful autobiography, Mr. Reagan takes you into his heart and mind, showing you the forces that formed him and the steps he took to form the world.
If you do not like President Reagan, then I am confident that you will not like this book - people rarely write autobiographies to expose startling and upsetting facts about themselves. But, if you are a fan of Ronaldus Magnus, then you will LOVE this book. I know I did. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all !,
This review is from: Ronald Reagan: An American Life (Paperback)'An American Life' charts the life and times of one of the most charismatic presidents of the 20th Century, Ronald Wilson Reagan. In this remarkable autobiography, Ronald Reagan presents a definitive personal account of his historic presidency. With uncompromising candour, modesty, and wit, he tells the story of his life, both public and private, from his early childhood up until his life after the White House.
He reveals the events that shaped his reluctant candidacy and the decision-making process that led to his first nomination; the unseen dangers of Gobachev's first visit to America; startling facts about top-secret meetings involving heads of state; his frustrations with Congress; and his relationships with the members of his Cabinet.
His narrative is full of new insights and often surprising revelations regarding his innermost feelings about life in the White House, the assassination attempt, his family - and the enduring love between him and his wife Nancy.
Overall, an outstanding book, and well worth a read for all those who are interested not only in Ronald Reagan.
God Bless Ronald, and God Bless America.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book,
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This review is from: An American Life (Hardcover)Good book easy read would recommend a true account of a great American president h h h h u unhh h h h h hn
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Man and a Great President,
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This review is from: An American Life (Paperback)This is an engaging autobiography and I could not put it down. It covers Ronald Regan's early life and achievements. His progressive development and education by experience. He is always portrayed as an actor who becomes President of the United States. The reality was that he had been involved in politics for many years and had been President of the Screen Actors Guild during a very difficult time with Communism in Hollywood. For eight years he was employed by General Electric to to tour their plants initially talking about Hollywood and General Electric Theater a weekly TV programme they sponsored. As time when on these talks became more focused on government than Hollywood. He continued to give speeches and Republican activities supporting Barry Goldwater. He had been approached by business men who wanted and would finance him to talk on national television. This was followed by the suggestion he stand for Governor of California and some years later as President of the United States. He was propelled into these positions rather than seeking them out. Nancy supported him throughout. His achievements in establishing a relationship with Gorbachov and finishing the cold war are immense. There was of course his special relationship with Margaret Thatcher. A good read.
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An American Life by Ronald Reagan (Paperback - 11 Jan 2011)