Ronald Reagan: A Reading List

Fri, 05/11/2018 - 1:54pm -- baglio

In honor of the upcoming lecture on Ronald Reagan, presented by James Rosebush, our second reading list for the month of May will focus on the former two term President.

Who was Ronald Reagan? James Rosebush reveals the man behind the President. Ronald Reagan has been discussed, critiqued, and analyzed by both his supporters and his opponents. His legacy has lived on, but his character has remained a mystery. James Rosebush, Deputy Assistant to President Reagan and Chief of Staff to Nancy Reagan, knew the man that the rest of the world never fully understood. In True Reagan: What Made Ronald Reagan Great and Why It Matters, Rosebush uncovers Reagan's inner workings and the impact they had on history. 

$5 for Members; $10 for Non-members. Register online below or call 401-847-0292 for reservations.


Ronald Reagan: His Life In Pictures

By, James Spada

An extraordinary life story in more than 340 photographs, most never before published.

Ronald Wilson Reagan lived the American Dream-- over and over again. During his long, astonishing life, he has succeeded at everything he attempted. College football letterman. Heroic lifeguard. Sports announcer. Movie star. Television host. Corporate spokesman. Governor. And finally, the greatest dream of all: President of the United States.

Fully two-thirds of the images in this book have never been published before, and they offer us glimpses into the private man as well as the public icon. We see him as a little boy in his mother's Sunday-school class; welcoming home GIs with Bette Davis; helping his daughter prepare for a ballet recital, and celebrating the birth of his namesake with his wife Nancy. In a wonderful assortment of unseen images from his presidential library, we see every aspect of the President, from building a snowman with his grandson on the White House lawn to anguishing over the deaths of Marines in Beirut.

No matter what one's politics, these images, and James Spada's evocative, balanced text, provide new insights into a man whose life embodies the promise of America.

 

 

Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader 

By, Dinesh D'Souza

In this enlightening new look at one of our most successful, most popular, and least understood presidents, bestselling author and former Reagan aide Dinesh D'Souza shows how this "ordinary" man was able to transform the political landscape in a way that made a permanent impact on America and the world. Ronald Reagan is a thoughtful and honest assessment of how this underestimated president became a truly extraordinary leader.

 

Recollections of Reagan: A Portrait of Reagan

Including contributions by such figures as Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Pete Wilson, Mike Wallace, and Colin Powell, a touching collection of memories ranges from the political to the personal, and provides an engaging picture of Ronald Reagan and his presidency.

 

Reagan's Path to Victory: The Shaping of Ronald Reagan's Vision

A collection of radio addresses by the late fortieth president is arranged chronologically from 1975 to 1980 and follows his strategic campaign tactics and victory speeches, in a volume complemented by a CD of original recordings and essays that offer insight into his ability to inspire confidence and loyalty in others.

 

A SHINING CITY: THE LEGACY OF RONALD REAGAN

By, Ronald Reagan

Passages from Ronald Reagan's post-presidential speeches are combined with tributes from other influential persons to assess his impact on modern times and politics.

 

I Love You, Ronnie: The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan

By, Nancy Reagan

No matter what else was going on in his life or where he was—traveling to make movies, at the White House, or sometimes just across the room—Ronald Reagan wrote letters to Nancy Reagan, to express his love, thoughts, and feelings, and to stay in touch. Through these extraordinary letters and reflections, the private character and life of an American president and his first lady are revealed. Nancy Reagan reflects with love and insight on the letters, on her husband, and on the many phases of their life together. A love story spanning half a century and the private life of this classic American couple come vividly alive in this rare and inspiring book.

 

Reagan: The Life

By, H.W. Brands

    In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. Reagan conveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan’s personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today. 

    Employing archival sources not available to previous biographers and drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving members of Reagan’s administration, Brands has crafted a richly detailed and fascinating narrative of the presidential years. He offers new insights into Reagan’s remote management style and fractious West Wing staff, his deft handling of public sentiment to transform the tax code, and his deeply misunderstood relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on which nothing less than the fate of the world turned. 

     Reagan is a storytelling triumph, an irresistible portrait of an underestimated politician whose pragmatic leadership and steadfast vision transformed the nation.

 

 

The Reagan Diaries

By, Ronald Reagan

During his two terms as the fortieth president of the United States, Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary in which he recorded, by hand, his innermost thoughts and observations on the extraordinary, the historic, and the routine day-to-day occurrences of his presidency. Brought together in one volume and edited by historian Douglas Brinkley, The Reagan Diaries provides a striking insight into one of this nation's most important presidencies and sheds new light on the character of a true American leader.

 

The Reagans: Portrait of a Marriage

By, Anne Edwards

He was an actor, newly divorced, whose controversial tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild was drawing more attention than his film career. She was a contract player at MGM, unmarried and rapidly growing too old to play the starlet. It was time, she decided, to settle down and become Mrs. Somebody Important. So Nancy Davis contrived an introduction to Ronald Reagan, and the Reagans’ march into history began.

The Reagans is their story, a penetrating portrayal of one of the most powerful couples of the twentieth century. Distinguished biographer Anne Edwards, who wrote the seminal book on Ronald Reagan's budding years, Early Reagan: The Rise to Power, now paints the first in-depth, intimate portrait of the man who became our fortieth president and the woman without whom he might never have reached such heights.

It was a dramatic love story from the start: Nancy was always first in Reagan’s thoughts, and he was paramount in Nancy’s actions. This obsessional love, however, had a darker side for the four Reagan children. Anne Edwards brings the Reagans’ dysfunctional family life into sharp focus, along with a fascinating array of supporting players---from Reagan’s evangelistic mother, Nelle, to Nancy’s adoptive father, Dr. Loyal Davis (said to be “right of Atilla the Hun”), as well as Frank Sinatra, Lew Wasserman, Barry Goldwater, Gerald Ford, and other key figures in government and entertainment.

Few women in the twentieth century had as much power as did Nancy Reagan, and few were so widely mistrusted and disliked. Anne Edwards shows you a side of Nancy that has never before been revealed. As Reagan rose to power, Nancy defended her husband’s interests with both opponents and supporters---and then took on the even more difficult battle to maintain her husband’s dignity through his descent into Alzheimer’s disease.

The Reagans is an original and mesmerizing look at a presidential marriage that is every bit as interesting and important as that of John and Abigail Adams or Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

 

Riding with Reagan: From the White House to the Ranch

By, John R. Barletta

John Barletta was a Vietnam veteran and Secret Service agent with a lifelong passion for horses and a deep respect for the nation’s new president, Ronald Reagan. After he was chosen to lead the president’s equestrian protection team in 1981, Barletta became the president’s riding partner on the dusty trails of his California ranch, at Camp David, and even at Windsor Castle.  During their nearly twenty-year relationship, Barletta would come to know Ronald Reagan as few others did—as a loving husband and father, as a man of courage and conviction, and as a friend and confidant.

 

Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended

By, Jack F. Matlock Jr.

In Reagan and Gorbachev, Jack F. Matlock, Jr., gives an eyewitness account of how the Cold War ended, with humankind declared the winner. As Reagan’s principal adviser on Soviet and European affairs, and later as the U.S. ambassador to the U.S.S.R., Matlock lived history: He was the point person for Reagan’s evolving policy of conciliation toward the Soviet Union. Working from his own papers, recent interviews with major figures, and archival sources both here and abroad, Matlock offers an insider’s perspective on a diplomatic campaign far more sophisticated than previously thought, led by two men of surpassing vision. 

Matlock details how, from the start of his term, Reagan privately pursued improved U.S.—U.S.S.R. relations, while rebuilding America’s military and fighting will in order to confront the Soviet Union while providing bargaining chips. When Gorbachev assumed leadership, however, Reagan and his advisers found a potential partner in the enterprise of peace. At first the two leaders sparred, agreeing on little. Gradually a form of trust emerged, with Gorbachev taking politically risky steps that bore long-term benefits, like the agreement to abolish intermediate-range nuclear missiles and the agreement to abolish intermediate-range nuclear missiles and the U.S.S.R.’s significant unilateral troop reductions in 1988.

Through his recollections and unparalleled access to the best and latest sources, Matlock describes Reagan’s and Gorbachev’s initial views of each other. We learn how the two prepared for their meetings; we discover that Reagan occasionally wrote to Gorbachev in his own hand, both to personalize the correspondence and to prevent nit-picking by hard-liners in his administration. We also see how the two men were pushed closer together by the unlikeliest characters (Senator Ted Kennedy and François Mitterrand among them) and by the two leaders’ remarkable foreign ministers, George Shultz and Eduard Shevardnadze.

The end of the Cold War is a key event in modern history, one that demanded bold individuals and decisive action. Both epic and intimate, Reagan and Gorbachev will be the standard reference, a work that is critical to our understanding of the present and the past.

 

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

By, Rick Perlstein

From the bestselling author of Nixonland: a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous political and economic times of the 1970s.

In January of 1973 Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term—until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon’s resignation “our long national nightmare is over”—but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives. The economy was in tatters. And as Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way—as one more nation among nations, no more providential than any other—the pundits declared that from now on successful politicians would be the ones who honored this chastened new national mood.

Ronald Reagan never got the message. Which was why, when he announced his intention to challenge President Ford for the 1976 Republican nomination, those same pundits dismissed him—until, amazingly, it started to look like he just might win. He was inventing the new conservative political culture we know now, in which a vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was derailed in America’s Bicentennial year by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood. Against a backdrop of melodramas from the Arab oil embargo to Patty Hearst to the near-bankruptcy of America’s greatest city, The Invisible Bridge asks the question: what does it mean to believe in America? To wave a flag—or to reject the glibness of the flag wavers?