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Where does Killing Reagan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Like others in the O'Reilly, Martin Dugard series, this book is full of research that tells the reader things we didn't know or some of us only suspected. It will take me some time to fully digest and separate the public Ronald Reagan from the historical facts in the book. I'm sure that some people may be put off by some of the material but I found it thought provoking and very timely considering a Presidential election is on the horizon.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Killing Reagan?
The entire book was captivating and had be either shaking my head in disbelief or nodding in confirmation that I got things right when they were happening. I am a Ronald Reagan fan but I now need to revaluate some of the reasons why.
Have you listened to any of Robert Petkoff and Bill O'Reilly ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have read or listened to all of Bill O' Reilly's books. The research done by Martin Dugard is truly brilliant and give the reader insight that go beyond the sound bites and fluffed up images we form our opinions on. It is no surprise the Bill started off and a teacher and still is; he just has a bigger class room now.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Acting The Part
16 of 20 people found this review helpful
Well, I’m dubious about disagreeing with so many O’Reilly fans but this book is flawed. I’m glad someone finally revealed the old guy’s secret peccadillos but the authors took it too far. It’s Ronald Reagan from the dark side, his shadow self. If a man’s biography amounts to the accumulation of his peculiarities and weaknesses, and also those his wife’s, then this is acceptable biography. I once heard O’Reilly comment, “Reagan was not a phony.” You’d never infer that from this book. I’m not a gushing fan of Reagan by any means, as are some, and I like Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Their book Killing Lincoln was an excellent read. And I’m old enough to recall Reagan’s sending Marines to Lebanon to stand guard without guns or ammunition . . . until one day BOOM went the bomb. A baby would have known better. I still recall his administration calling ketchup a vegetable in school lunch programs, and other such silly stuff. Ronald Reagan could bumble around, no doubt—I remember it. Famous persons ought to be biographized as if sitting in their underwear, we all agree, but this is a life of Ron and Nancy written as a chain of egoistic, self-serving calculations, one following another. Dwelling excessively on negatives warps perspective as much as uncritical reverence. Sorry, all you “killing” book fans—this book is two-dimensional history. The softer side of the president, his hugging relatives of the space shuttle disaster with sincere warmth, his change of mind about AIDs sufferers and admitting he was wrong in a public service announcement, his resisting his daughter’s heart-to-heart talk about the arms race, his diary entries in which he struggles to forgive John Hinckley, and earlier—his going to bat for unfairly-treated Hollywood actors, are all left out. I once read that Reagan nearly punched Lee Marvin when Marvin demanded an actress be fired from the set. Ronald Reagan had positive dimensions, too. Furthermore, the book is not exclusively about “killing Reagan,” although there are chapters on the assassination attempt. It’s a selective biography of Reagan from his arrival in Los Angeles through to his death. It is a book of chosen scenes, threaded together by a narrative which moves along briskly, no doubt well-researched, nearly all of which are hyper-critical of their subject. That’s it in the nutshell. Perhaps the authors wanted to avoid even a whisper of political bias? That is my guess for an explanation. If so, they succeeded in spades.
This is a worthwhile book even if an imperfect one. I say, read it with its flaws in mind. Stop already with the indiscriminate acceptance of O’Reilly’s and Dugard’s work. Those “killing” books have become for some like ringing bells were to Pavlov’s dogs. These are good books but not the last word on their subjects. Break the conditioning by stepping back and thinking critically.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, it is a good account of the Reagan years and a good way to look at a Presidency that is so often misunderstood. Both authors write in an engaging and journalistic way. The section on the Falklands is nicely balanced and one of the best descriptions of the sinking of HMS Sheffield I have come across.
Who was your favorite character and why?
The authors are actually a surprise. O'Reilly is best known for being the "beast of Fox News" and here there are certainly some right wing nuances, that said I found myself appreciating his passion and the power of the argument even if every way of looking at problem or issue I don't agree with,
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No - three sittings.
Any additional comments?
I wish they would look at the FDR years as well. See what they make of that.
Would you listen to Killing Reagan again? Why?
So I picked this book because of the other high ratings, I was a teen when Regan was president, and i didn't approve of a few of his choices or moves, but I was intrigued by his popularity.The book was interesting because it went of in tangents to describe other events happening world wide during episodes of Regan's life and presidency. My only gripe, is that I googled Bill o Reilly and this book after purchasing it, and there are claims that a lot of the content was fabricated or embellished, and during particular points in the book i was left wondering if this was the writer simply being creative. Either way, I got through it and enjoyed it.. Worth a listen
0 of 1 people found this review helpful