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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling team of Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard comes Killing Reagan, an epic account of the career of President Ronald Reagan that tells the vivid story of his rise to power - and the forces of evil that conspired to bring him down.

Just two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman's bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable - or so it seemed. But Reagan was grievously injured, forcing him to encounter a challenge that few men ever face. Could he silently overcome his traumatic experience while at the same time carrying out the duties of the most powerful man in the world?

Told in the same riveting fashion as Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Patton, Killing Reagan reaches back to the golden days of Hollywood where Reagan found both fame and heartbreak, up through the years in the California governor's mansion, and finally to the White House where he presided over boom years and the fall of the iron curtain. But it was John Hinckley Jr.'s attack on him that precipitated President Reagan's most heroic actions. In Killing Reagan, O'Reilly and Dugard take readers behind the scenes, creating an unforgettable portrait of a great man operating in violent times.

©2015 Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Killing Reagan

Average Customer Ratings
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ronnie Rat

Well, I’m dubious about disagreeing with so many O’Reilly fans but this book is flawed. I’m glad someone finally revealed the old guy’s secret peccadillos but the authors took it too far. It’s Ronald Reagan from the dark side, his shadow self. If a man’s biography amounts to the accumulation of his peculiarities and weaknesses, and also those his wife’s, then this is acceptable biography. I once heard O’Reilly comment, “Reagan was not a phony.” You’d never infer that from this book. I’m not a gushing fan of Reagan by any means, as are some, and I like Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Their book Killing Lincoln was an excellent read. And I’m old enough to recall Reagan’s sending Marines to Lebanon to stand guard without guns or ammunition . . . until one day BOOM went the bomb. A baby would have known better. I still recall his administration calling ketchup a vegetable in school lunch programs, and other such silly stuff. Ronald Reagan could bumble around, no doubt—I remember it. Famous persons ought to be biographized as if sitting in their underwear, we all agree, but this is a life of Ron and Nancy written as a chain of egoistic, self-serving calculations, one following another. Dwelling excessively on negatives warps perspective as much as uncritical reverence. Sorry, all you “killing” book fans—this book is two-dimensional history. The softer side of the president, his hugging relatives of the space shuttle disaster with sincere warmth, his change of mind about AIDs sufferers and admitting he was wrong in a public service announcement, his resisting his daughter’s heart-to-heart talk about the arms race, his diary entries in which he struggles to forgive John Hinckley, and earlier—his going to bat for unfairly-treated Hollywood actors, are all left out. I once read that Reagan nearly punched Lee Marvin when Marvin demanded an actress be fired from the set. Ronald Reagan had positive dimensions, too. Furthermore, the book is not exclusively about “killing Reagan,” although there are chapters on the assassination attempt. It’s a selective biography of Reagan from his arrival in Los Angeles through to his death. It is a book of chosen scenes, threaded together by a narrative which moves along briskly, no doubt well-researched, nearly all of which are hyper-critical of their subject. That’s it in the nutshell. Perhaps the authors wanted to avoid even a whisper of political bias? That is my guess for an explanation. If so, they succeeded in spades.

This is a worthwhile book even if an imperfect one. I say, read it with its flaws in mind. Stop already with the indiscriminate acceptance of O’Reilly’s and Dugard’s work. Those “killing” books have become for some like ringing bells were to Pavlov’s dogs. These are good books but not the last word on their subjects. Break the conditioning by stepping back and thinking critically.

23 people found this helpful

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Kiliing Reagan

Where does Killing Reagan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Like others in the O'Reilly, Martin Dugard series, this book is full of research that tells the reader things we didn't know or some of us only suspected. It will take me some time to fully digest and separate the public Ronald Reagan from the historical facts in the book. I'm sure that some people may be put off by some of the material but I found it thought provoking and very timely considering a Presidential election is on the horizon.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Killing Reagan?

The entire book was captivating and had be either shaking my head in disbelief or nodding in confirmation that I got things right when they were happening. I am a Ronald Reagan fan but I now need to revaluate some of the reasons why.

Have you listened to any of Robert Petkoff and Bill O'Reilly ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have read or listened to all of Bill O' Reilly's books. The research done by Martin Dugard is truly brilliant and give the reader insight that go beyond the sound bites and fluffed up images we form our opinions on. It is no surprise the Bill started off and a teacher and still is; he just has a bigger class room now.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Acting The Part

17 people found this helpful

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A Very Fond Memorial Account of a Great President!

It was amazing how the Democratic Press scolded President Reagan & now President Trump yet they seem to have amnesia when dealing with Democrat Presidents like Clinton & Obama. The recollection of exactly how bad we had it under the weak minded President Carter & the influx of media approved Communist tactics & leaders within our so called Free Country under Obama is so saddening. I now truly have an admiration for both Margaret Thatcher & Nancy Regan. Both were cornerstones for President Reagan.

2 people found this helpful

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Killing a Legacy

What disappointed you about Killing Reagan?

While I have enjoyed the other books in this series, this title was a real disappointment. For reasons that are unclear to me, Bill departs from his prior form of telling the story and instead engages in what can only be called an assassination (no pun intended) of the President, his wife and legacy. I was actually shocked at how much time is devoted to matters that are really irrelevant to the story of the attempted assassination and how much of the book is about how terrible Nancy was. In essence this book is more about a revisionist rewrite of Reagan's life and presidential legacy and is the most left leaning of all of Bill's books thus far. I was excited for this book to come out, but am disappointed I wasted the credit and the time listening to it - there are much better written and more accurate portrayals of Reagan's life and legacy and I would suggest you look to one of those before taking the time with this one. I'm a big fan of Bill, his books and TV show - why this book at this time is baffling to me, and its sad to see another attack on a great American president, especially by Bill.

What could Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Told the story of the assassination attempt and the events surrounding it. This title is quite contrived - was a stretch in my opinion and doesn't really fit the series.

What about Robert Petkoff and Bill O'Reilly ’s performance did you like?

It was good - clearly read and vocalized.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No, not really.

5 people found this helpful

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Skewed history

This is not a factual book about Reagan and his presidency. It is a rewrite of history that is lacking in authentic research.

4 people found this helpful

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another really book

I have gone through all of Bill O'Reilly's and Martin Dugard's books and enjoyed each one.... can't wait to see what they come up with next...

10 people found this helpful

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Patriot story

Eveeeery decade or so a person will profoundly affect everyone's life in a good way. Reagan was one of those iconic leaders this country needed badly at the time. Few can rationally deny the good he brought to our country. This story reinforces that period of time to remember how great Reagan was, but provides the details that fills in the blanks often wondered. The research about Reagan was stellar, almost making you feel you were there, with details that amaze. A good read.

9 people found this helpful

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Great narrator!

When the book began I was disappointed that O'Reilly was not the narrator, but aft a few moments I began to notice how good this narrator was.

Again, this was a wonderful history book narrated as a story. Unlike most history books that are dry as cracker juice, Killing Reagan relives the events and the listener feels the excitement and all the emotions

9 people found this helpful

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Didn't need the raunchy sex stuff in the beginning

Where does Killing Reagan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Frankly I liked Killing Patton and Killing Kennedy better. I would say this book is in the top 25% of my audible books so far.

Any additional comments?

Regan's sexual prowess and story line was not useful to the story line. I am no prude but it was just not needed. Would not share this book with my pre-teen children.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Have heard the entire series. Like the writers of the classic TV series "Happy Days", this duo may have taken it one book too far. At times, it seemed a little pointless, others vacuous, and occasionally pitiful. Great example is the letter written in the hand of Ronald Reagan read by the author in the epilogue that directly addresses and strongly contradicts a good hunk of content in the book. But, he offers no explanation. Which is it, Bill? I've heard O'Reilly say he didn't talk to the Reagan "cheerleaders". Whether that was because he did not want to do so, or they simply wouldn't participate, I couldn't help feeling I got half the story. That's why I'm giving it 2.5 stars (makes me wonder about the previous books in the series). Pretty ironic for a guy known for "no spin".

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 02-04-16

Surprisingly Good

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it is a good account of the Reagan years and a good way to look at a Presidency that is so often misunderstood. Both authors write in an engaging and journalistic way. The section on the Falklands is nicely balanced and one of the best descriptions of the sinking of HMS Sheffield I have come across.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The authors are actually a surprise. O'Reilly is best known for being the "beast of Fox News" and here there are certainly some right wing nuances, that said I found myself appreciating his passion and the power of the argument even if every way of looking at problem or issue I don't agree with,

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No - three sittings.

Any additional comments?

I wish they would look at the FDR years as well. See what they make of that.

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  • Paul
  • 02-05-16

More than just about Regan

Would you listen to Killing Reagan again? Why?

So I picked this book because of the other high ratings, I was a teen when Regan was president, and i didn't approve of a few of his choices or moves, but I was intrigued by his popularity.The book was interesting because it went of in tangents to describe other events happening world wide during episodes of Regan's life and presidency. My only gripe, is that I googled Bill o Reilly and this book after purchasing it, and there are claims that a lot of the content was fabricated or embellished, and during particular points in the book i was left wondering if this was the writer simply being creative. Either way, I got through it and enjoyed it.. Worth a listen