Friday, December 18, 2015

Book Review: Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan by Craig Shirley

Clearly the author is a fan of the late president, arguing that his presidency had a significant impact on the political landscape and changed how both parties look today. You can probably find as many political pundits arguing that conservatives under Reagan were much less pronounced in their religious tendencies and argued more politics than church. But that is a debate that is beyond the scope of this review. Did Reagan have an influence on the USA that was long-lasting? yes, it was he who was president during the Glasnost time that led to the wall coming down. Movements such as the Solidarity movement may have had a harder time sustaining itself and bringing down communism had a different president been in the White House that was not as expressive in its opposition to communist leadership in Eastern Europe. Reagan formed a strong bond with Mrs. Thatcher, another outspoken anti-communist, and their combined leadership certainly strengthened the forces for democracy in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, the man had is faults and Reagan as a president was not without errors.

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But he at the core a very genuine human being and I find that to be most important takeaway from this book. We get to know Reagan as a person, in his private home, during retirement and fighting against an incurable disease. The author manages to tell us about the person of Ronald Reagan, at times blurred by an admiration of the person, but still anecdotes from the life of the late president will entertain many readers who lives through the 80s and admired Reagan as a president or simply his style of politics. This is an opportunity to get to know the president as a person and maybe understand why so many people, from both sides of the political aisle, if not admire him, but find him a decent human being.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

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