Reagan: The Life by H.W. Brands is a biography of the 40th president of the United States. Mr. Brands is a noted historian and educator.
- 816 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385536399
My rating for Reagan: The Life — 5
Reagan: The Life by H.W. Brands is a wonderful, encompassing biography of Ronald Reagan. I found the biography to be non-biased, the book neither worships Mr. Reagan nor makes him the villain, but is very straight forward, encompassing and engrossing.
Mr. Brands paints Ronald Reagan as a smart man who likes the “big picture’ and leaves the details to others. This kept the president focused on his goals (lower taxes, smaller government, etc.) but no the implementation of these ideas, which sometimes came back to bite him in the back.
The author does an excellent job setting the stage before going into biographical details. I appreciated this aspect of the book because the personal stories were framed within a larger context which helped me understand them and made them much more informative.
The book follows Reagan from his youth, his Hollywood career, his presidency (which gets the lion share of the book of course) and to his death. It was poignant and sad to read some excerpts from Mr. Reagan’s testimony as a defense witness in the Iran-contra trial of his former national security adviser, John Poindexter. The testimony was given when Mr. Reagan was already in the early stage of Alzheimer’s and could barely remember his presidential term. The pain and embarrassment Mr. Reagan felt at his inability to testify is heartbreaking and leaps off the pages, those who questioned him also realized that it is futile and did not want to embarrass him further.
Mr. Brands has written an excellent, interesting biography which is balanced and a joy to read. The book is engaging and I will certainly reference it in the future.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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