What made Ronald Reagan tick? What was the secret to his greatness, the source of his influence, the key to his character, the strength behind his leadership?
And why does it matter to the nation today?
Just the mention of his name still evokes deep admiration and affection among Americans of every stripe, on both sides of the aisle. Many have previously sought to capture the essence of this very public figure often called "mysterious and unknowable". But now, as James Rosebush tells Reagan's story from firsthand experience in True Reagan, we come closer to understanding the heart of this great American.
In his roles as the longest-serving chief of staff to Nancy Reagan and deputy assistant to President Reagan (his point man on philanthropy and public/private partnerships), James Rosebush had unrivaled one-on-one access to Reagan, observing his personality, his decision making, and his guarded nature. Rosebush's revelations are moving and meant to inspire us to look to our 40th president for guidance now as we face the global challenges of a complicated 21st century.
Ronald Reagan was first and foremost an intensely private person, although the life he led placed him at the center of people's attention from his earliest years. Small-town boy and college athlete, sportscaster and lifelong sports fan, actor and movie star, union leader and TV spokesman, Democrat and Republican, governor and president: What an incredible and extraordinary path. Rosebush tells how his center core was formed by his mother, who devoted herself to helping others even as the Reagans struggled themselves. The spiritual foundation she instilled in him by teaching him the Bible governed his thoughts, beliefs, and actions all his life.
In a very real sense, his upbringing destined Reagan to become a global evangelist for American exceptionalism - but, importantly, as Rosebush learned firsthand, that did not mean Reagan thought Americans themselves were superior, as today's pundits and politicians often preach. Rather, Reagan believed that the ideals of America's founding were superior, enabling all Americans to live lives based on high ideals and spiritual principles and thus achieve unparalleled success. Reagan was uniquely able to lead from true conviction and strength, his confidence stemming from an unshakeable fundamental belief system.
Better understanding the essence of this inspiring and principled leader is critical to our future. Journey back with Rosebush through the innumerable examples he recounts from firsthand observation, and marvel once again at True Reagan.
©2016 James Rosebush (P)2016 Hachette Audio
"Jim captures the wit, wisdom, and warmth of President Reagan. He was there as Reagan set out to change America and wound up changing the world. Jim had a unique perch to understand the character and leadership attributes of our beloved 40th President. He also was a keen observer of the real, not Hollywood, love affair between the President and Nancy and the impact that had on Reagan's achievements." (Kenneth M. Duberstein, former White House chief of staff to President Reagan)
"Rosebush understands Reagan - what motivated him and what made him great. We need a whole lot more of Reagan's powerful moral courage and Jim Rosebush has shared what the President revealed to him on this subject during the years he worked in the White House. A must-read for anyone who loves Reagan and wants to understand him better. A blueprint for our current and future leaders. They could learn a lot from this book." (Larry Kudlow, CNBC senior contributor, radio host of the nationally syndicated Larry Kudlow Show)
"Jim Rosebush brings special perspective to the subject of Ronald Reagan. He enjoyed the unique position of having worked for both the President and First Lady. Jim is a natural communicator and, as such, has the capacity to reach a wide audience on a topic of great national interest." (Susan Eisenhower)
James Rosebush has captured what I never knew about Reagan. I've read multiple biographies and watched just as many documentaries of Ronald Reagan. That said, I had no idea of Reagan's deep faith and core values that directed his daily actions. This book gives you a more in-depth look at Reagan's thought process in many different scenarios; some trivial and others world-changing.
Having James Rosebush narrate this was a treat. You could hear in his voice what was especially interesting or impactful to him throughout which made the listen more special.
In most presidential biographies, the end of the book is especially moving (this one is no exception). That said, I was especially awed by Reagan's nearly immediate forgiveness of his would-be assassin. The other part of the book that was especially poignant was learning about Reagan's mother and the pivotal role she played in his life. There are many books on Reagan. Fortunately, this one is different as it is a book written by someone who knew him well and was a first hand witness to his behavior during the most important times of his life. This intimate vantage point allows for insight into the decision making and leadership of one of our great presidents. I wish our current presidential candidates (from both sides) would read this book and take what they learned to heart.
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