4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Bad feeling after reading this.,
This review is from: Reagan's War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism (Hardcover)
Got friends in the US who don't live too far from DC, so government is a big thing for them. They all lived through the 80's and 90's presidents, and there's a real mix of opinions about all the presidents between the 3 of them. Reagan is probably the one that they disagree about most. Mike (Cheers buddy!) gave me a copy of this (he thinks Reagan was a pretty good guy, the other two don't) with the words "It's probably not the best book to read about Reagan, but give it a go and you might understand him more."
I did give it a go, and have now finished it. I'm in two minds as to whether it's a great book or a really bad one. Insofar as the writing is concerned, I have no problem with it - it is very well written insofar as the style is very easy to read. What I have a problem with is whether or not the 'facts' are reliable, and if this is actually a good historical account of Reagan's 'struggle'. The main source of information about how great Reagan is comes from...wait for it...Reagan's personal diaries!! Hardly a great source for an unbiased account...
...which brings me to what is actually written. I think the writer goes far too over the top with his adoration of Reagan. It seems like almost everything that Reagan ever did was considered as a benevolent and brilliant piece of politics to Mr Schweizer. I found this particularly sickening when I read of Reagan's plan to attempt to bankrupt the Soviet Union as a way of bringing Communism to it's knees, with full knowledge of how close to starving some of the population already were. Very hypocritical in the face of his criticism of Stalin's regime.
There is example after example of Reagan's obsession with Communism meaning that he put the 'struggle' before anything else. I think Mr Schweizer is either being deliberately blind or is genuinely so obsessed with Reagan that he cannot see how Reagan was blind to all the bad effects of his 'struggle' on his contemporary actors or the population of the countries that he had some sort of problem with.
The book is supposed to be concluded with Reagan's 'triumph' over communism, but in my opinion all he seemed to do was create political tension in the US and the rest of the world, and communism fell apart without much help from him in the end. My conclusion was that paper had been wasted by someone who was setting out to make a point from a very biased standpoint; and that I had wasted my time reading this, as I didn't really learn anything new, just that Mr Schweizer thinks that Reagan was the best thing since sliced bread.
I'm just glad I didn't waste money on buying it!