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Reagan: An American Journey
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Reagan: An American Journey

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  34 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling biographer Bob Spitz, a full and rich biography of an epic American life, capturing what made Ronald Reagan both 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 fai
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Penguin
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Spitz has provided us with really the definitive biography of Reagan, the man. The book is carefully researched, thorough, and painstakingly filled with detail. Especially of note are the chapters about Reagan’s early formative years in the small prairie towns, working as a lifeguard, struggling to pay his own way through college, reinventing himself as a sports commentator on the radio, and on to his years in Hollywood where he was thought to be the next great leading man, his storybook marriag ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good, thorough book, well written. Only critique was skipping over the positive economic triumphs in the 80s.
Lee Woodruff
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The accomplished and talented author of the best-selling Julia Child biography “Dearie,” turns his attention to detail and story-telling skills to the subject of Ronald “Dutch” Reagan. Conducting exhaustive interviews over a five-year period and with access to previous unavailable documents, Spitz paints a detailed picture of one of America’s most iconic presidents with a writing style that feels more like novel than non-fiction. He deftly moves us through time with detailed descriptions, taking ...more
Chad King
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love him or hate him, Reagan left an indelible mark on America and his legacy continues to reverberate nearly 40 years after he won the US Presidency. Spitz digs deep for this biography, and does an exceptional job of describing Reagan the boy, Reagan the actor, Reagan the husband, Reagan the politician, and Reagan the declining octogenarian. Above all, Reagan was a great communicator, and Spitz describes how that skill served him throughout his life.

The book is neither a hit piece nor a fawning
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading several biographies of Reagan, this is definitely in the top tier.

Spitz does an excellent job in describing Reagan’s rise from small town Illinois to the governorship of California. Spitz’s past biographies on the Beatles and Julia Child give him insight into how to cover Reagan’s Hollywood career. Spitz also sheds greater light unto Reagan’s early life than any biography I’ve previously read. Spitz’s descriptions of the 76 primary and the 1980 election are short but very good.

Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Yes, I read another Ronald Reagan biography. This one had a lot of insights I hadn't read before, particularly from Reagan's White House aides, which would have been interesting if I liked reading about office politics and personality conflicts. This biographer stuck to the facts and gave very little opinion, which was okay I guess. But I've read so many of these by now that I like to get the author's opinion. My favorite Reagan biography is still Iwan Morgan's because he wasn't afraid to praise ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-read
Unfortunately, it can be hard to find a Reagan biography that is unbiased but his one does a pretty good job of sharing the facts. Both positive and negative.

Reagan clearly had a big heart and that was a great thing but also led him into some poor decisions.

Unlike other biographies that just cover his time as president, this one covers his whole life and is better for it. I'd recommend this book.
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Bob Spitz is the award-winning author of The Beatles, a New York Times best seller, as well as seven other nonfiction books and a screenplay. He has represented Bruce Springsteen and Elton John in several capacities. His articles appear regularly in magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times Magazine; The Washington Post; Rolling Stone; and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others.