President Reagan

  • by Richard Reeves
  • Narrated by George K. Wilson
  • 25 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Twenty-five years after Ronald Reagan became president, Richard Reeves has written a surprising and revealing portrait of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. As he did in his best-selling books President Kennedy: Profile of Power and President Nixon: Alone in the White House, Reeves has used newly declassified documents and hundreds of interviews to show a president at work day by day, sometimes minute by minute. President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination is the story of an accomplished politician, a bold, even reckless leader, a gambler, a man who imagined an American past and an American future, and made them real. He is a man of ideas who changed the world for better or worse, a man who understands that words are often more important than deeds. Reeves shows a man who understands how to be President, who knows that the job is not to manage the government but to lead the nation. In many ways, a quarter of a century later, he is still leading. As his vice president, George H. W. Bush, said after Reagan was shot and hospitalized in 1981: "We will act as if he were here."
In focusing on the key moments of the Reagan presidency, Reeves recounts the amazing resiliency of Ronald Reagan, the real "comeback kid". Here is a 70-year-old man coming back from a near-fatal gunshot wound, from cancer, from the worst recession in American history. Then, in personal despair as his administration was shredded by the lying and secrets of hidden wars and double-dealing, he was able to forge one of history's amazing relationships with the leader of "the Evil Empire". That story is told for the first time using the transcripts of the Reagan-Gorbachev meetings, the climax of an epic story, as if he were here.


What the Critics Say

"A compelling read, fast-paced and scrupulously fair. The account of the Iran-contra affair is particularly gripping. Anybody who is interested in Reagan's extraordinary presidency needs to reckon with Reeves." (The New York Times Book Review)
"This is the imagined president, the facade emerging triumphant after eight years in office, affecting the sense, more contrived, some said, then real, of great battles won and great beasts slain." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

deconstructing greatness

I had suspicions about a liberal journalist's ability to restrain himself from using the press's present-day assumption that anything 'republican' must be depicted as inept, moronic, evil, or just wrong. By ch 8, Reeves begins to subtly paint Reagan as presenile, assuming him to be increasingly unable to command. By the ch 16, Reeves has reduced Reagan to a puppet of his handlers.
Wilson's narration takes on a tongue-in-cheek tone (see Double Whammy), which conveys Reeves' contempt for Reagan and his pleasure in highlighting Reagan's staff's dysfunction.
Reeves abandons his early nod to 'Reagan the visionary' in order to reinvent Reagan as merely a symbol of personal hope for the naive and unsophisticated, not one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century.
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- S. Lecroy

GREAT Narration, Good Book

The most startling thing you'll find in this Audiobook is the uncanny way the narrator, George Wilson, has of switching from a straight "read" to suddenly channeling Reagan's voice during quotes. He's not doing an "impression" or an over the top mimicry. You know that its not quite Reagan's voice, but the similarities are so strong that it instantly summons memories of the man that help to "fill in" the audio portrait. Great job.

As for the book, I thought it avoided being partisan, and showed that Reagan stuck to his political principles, while being able to alter his views, particularly when confronted with a person embodying the other side.
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- A Midwesterner in Jersey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-21-2005
  • Publisher: Recorded Books