How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life

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9780060524005: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life

As a young speechwriter in the Reagan White House, Peter Robinson was responsible for the celebrated "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" speech. He was also one of a core group of writers who became informal experts on Reagan -- watching his every move, absorbing not just his political positions, but his personality, manner, and the way he carried himself. In How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life, Robinson draws on journal entries from his days at the White House, as well as interviews with those who knew the president best, to reveal ten life lessons he learned from the fortieth president -- a great yet ordinary man who touched the individuals around him as surely as he did his millions of admirers around the world.

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About the Author:

Peter Robinson spent six years as a speechwriter in the Reagan White House. Among his speeches was the celebrated "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" speech, which Reagan delivered in Berlin in 1987. Robinson is the host of the PBS television program, Uncommon Knowledge, and the author of two previous books, It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP and Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA. A fellow at the Hoover Institution, he lives in Stanford, California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Conservatives, exult! Robinson's self-help/memoir/Reagan hagiography is an All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten for right-wingers. The former White House speechwriter and author of It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP and Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA illuminates 10 life lessons in a love letter to the Gipper ("How," Robinson asks, "did such a nice guy get to be President?"). By looking at both the historical (supply-side economics, the Cold War, Iran-contra) and the personal (Reagan's beliefs, his relationship with his family), Robinson unearths maxims such as "Do your work" and "Say your prayers." The stories are engaging, and he tosses in dashes of philosophy, such as the nature of good and evil, based on Reagan's ideas. The writing style, though, is repetitive, and occasionally Robinson makes leaps in his assumptions of Reagan's motivations; none of this, however, dilutes the message. Each lesson is related to Robinson's own life either in contrast or to show how he's made Reagan's lessons "scalable" for his own use. Interviews with and stories about many of the major players of the Reagan administration, like Ed Meese and Colin Powell, lend an insider's feel. Behind-the-scenes details, such as how the famous "Tear Down the Wall" speech was composed, give a fresh perspective. And while Robinson's respect for the former president verges on deification, especially as he glosses over Reagan's shortcomings ("Now, I myself was never able to get worked up over the deficits," Robinson says), this book provides solid, if somewhat obvious, lessons that will appeal to the legions of Reagan fans.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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