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This is an exceptionally coherent, balanced, and insightful account of the years leading up to, and then after Ronald Reagan's presidency. I was not a fan of Reagan's nor of recent attempts to immortalize him as a wise seer. But Wilenz gives the man his due while also providing a brisk and memorable narrative of the sour, often heartbreaking, sometimes inspiring years that we have lived through since Carter was president. The reader is excellent. I would recommend the book to anyone who wants to look into, or look out from the Reagan years and beyond.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
I was hoping for an objective analysis of the period I grew up in with both the pros and the cons of the various administrations outlined in a non-partisan way. That's not what I got. The author is clearly apolegetic to any Democratic miscues while attributing nefarious intent by secret cabals to anything Republican. In that sense it was disappointing but the book did provide a fairly thorough chronology of the important events of the last 40 years. By the end of the book and the review of the Bush administration, however, I found myself rolling my eyes at the constant perjorative analysis of all things Bush - the same tripe that has kept the liberal base enflamed for the past 8 years. A historian should be objective and minimize personal opinions in favor of a tempered, even-handed accounting of the events of the period. If you're a Blue Stater you should enjoy this book.
16 of 27 people found this review helpful