Saturday, May 9, 2015
Book Review Reagan The Life by H.W. Brands
This books is what a master biographer can do when approaching a great president's life after history has had time to settle and we can get the full picture. I've long been a fan of Ronald Reagan and watching him speak to a large audience had a huge impact on me many years ago. His presence and delivery left little doubt in my mind that Reagan was a man of principle.
And I do believe he was a great president.
Politics aside, Brands has done a great job with this biography. The timing is perhaps good in that we now have some time and space to fully analyze the impact that Reagan had on the US and, indeed, globally.
Brands brings in an FDR analogy but also grasps not only the man but how the world shaped him, leading to his way of dealing with situations and people. This isn't Brands' first big historical biography and his mastery of the medium is apparent.
I learned so much reading this book and, hefty though it is, had a hard time putting it down. Some men are great and this book is nuanced enough not to fall into the obvious but rather presenting a human being (and doing it well).