Synopses & Reviews
From New York Times bestselling biographer Bob Spitz, a rich biography of an epic American life, capturing what made Ronald Reagan so beloved and so transformational.
More than five years in the making, based on hundreds of interviews and access to previously unavailable documents, and infused with irresistible storytelling charm, Bob Spitz's Reagan stands fair to be the first truly post-partisan biography of our fortieth president, and thus a balm for our own bitterly divided times.
It is the quintessential American triumph, brought to life with cinematic vividness: A young man is born into poverty and raised in a series of flyspeck towns in the Midwest by a pious mother and a largely absent father. Severely nearsighted, the boy lives in his own world and finds his first brush with popularity as a young lifeguard. Thanks to the example of his first love, he makes the extraordinary leap to go to college, a modest school by national standards, but an audacious presumption in the context of his family's station. From there, the path is only dimly lit, but it leads him to a solid career as a radio sportscaster, and then, astonishingly, fatefully, to Hollywood. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Bob Spitz's Reagan is a richly detailed chronicle of the full arc of Ronald Reagan's epic life--giving full weight to the Hollywood years, his transition to politics and his rocky but ultimately successful run as California governor. His iconic presidency, from Iran-Contra to "Tear down this wall " to an assassination attempt, receives a balanced reckoning in the form of an absorbing, even revelatory narrative.