In this bold and philosophical reevaluation, Diggins reveals that Reagan was a far more active and sophisticated president than we ever knew. His negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev and his opposition to foreign interventions demonstrate that he was not a rigid hawk. In his pursuit of Emersonian ideals and distrust of big government, he was an open-minded libertarian, combining a reverence for America's hallowed historical traditions with an implacable faith in the limitless opportunities of the future.
"A significant book....Diggins holds that Reagan needs serious attention from intellectual historians." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Diggins does a superb job of tracing Reagan's intellectual development from old school New Dealer to thoughtful, Emersonian libertarian, and also firmly establishes Reagan's credentials as a major architect of communism's final collapse." (Publishers Weekly)
Thought I was purchasing a historical account of Reagan but got someones psycho babble about how they think Reagan was really a liberal... Had to stop listening about when the author states that the New Testament of the Bible is Socialism because of the "Give us this day our daily bread"... just one example of how bad this book is... I'm not a religious extremist but that took the cake.
Does anyone have a good factual book about Reagan they can recommend? I don't want a political view point book but a factual account of his life and Presidency so I can decide for myself... This was not the book for that
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
if you are looking for a book to give you real insight into Ronald Reagan, keep looking. This book is an exercise by the author to rectify his previous own liberally biased views of conservative Reagan with the undeniable positive impact Reagan had on America.
So how does he do it? By concluding that Reagan was, believe it or not, actually a liberal. I kid you not. He tries to convince the reader that, among many other fallacies, Reagan didn't actually believe that the Soviet union was an evil empire.
A terrible book.
12 of 17 people found this review helpful
The author writes a great story and presents a balanced review of the successes and failures of Reagan throughout his political career. He helps to de-mystify the neocon perceptions on the invicibility of the Reagan revolution. As a big fan of the former President, I thought the most striking thing was the balanced approach.
The audio was the weirdest thing. The narrator's voice seemed to change throughout the different chapters - like it was running at different speeds. If the audio quality were better I'd rate it higher
8 of 12 people found this review helpful
John Patrick Diggen’s book is more than a portrait of Regan. His deep dive into the competing social and economic philosophies of the 20th century are the real characters of this book. To listen to it, it felt like Regan is portrayed as both commander and passenger along a mighty river of competing ideas as his life and the 20th century unfolds. To get the full value out of this book, you must pay careful attention to Diggens philosophical descriptions first and then take Regan’s life events as icing on the cake.
While I felt that Diggen’s did an admirable job of portraying Regan in a well supported, well documented light, it did feel like he repeated himself constantly with the philosophical themes and that got a bit tedious, but the reward at the end is an exciting picture of an intelligent Regan that achieved enough during his presidency to be considered one of the greatest presidents of all time. This is neither a Disney limelight version of Regan, nor a sneering post modern cynic's view, but rather a fresh and unique perspective that will make you rethink the Regan you thought you knew . . . and be glad for it at the same time.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful