My father at 100

Ron Reagan, 1958-

Book - 2011

The son of Ronald and Nancy Reagan presents an assessment of his father's life that features his childhood observations of the qualities that rendered the future fortieth president a powerful leader.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Viking c2011.
Language
English
Physical Description
228 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780670022595
0670022594
Main Author
Ron Reagan, 1958- (-)
  • The O'Regans of Doolis
  • Oceans of grass
  • The story begins
  • The traveling Reagans
  • Dixon
  • Local hero
  • Fields of glory
  • Into the world
  • Home and free
  • Never-ending story.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Just in time for the centenary of Ronald Reagan's birth on February 6, 2011, here's a tribute from his younger son that evokes touch football games while exploring aspects of his father's life that he never knew before. More personal than brother Michael's book and said to be written with Nancy Reagan's cooperation, which is...a good thing? I dunno, let the guy speak for himself. With a four-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Ronald Reagan was "easy to love but hard to know," writes his son, Ron (not Jr., as he has a different middle name from his father) in this affectionate memoir, published on what would have been Reagan's 100th birthday. The book, primarily devoted to Ron's reflections as he visits Illinois locales and researches his father's youth at the Reagan Library, is the son's story of attempting to know his father better. The autobiographical component, which includes a few episodes of Ron's mild adolescent rebellion, is relatively small in comparison with Ron's efforts to reconstruct Ronald Reagan's internal narrative of his own life, one in which Reagan was "creator and star…director and story editor" of a production where, in early frames as a lifeguard and college football player, he learned to be a hero who would one day "save the world." VERDICT Ron Reagan, up against extant works by biographers, two sisters, brother, mother, and his father himself, may disappoint readers looking for much new information about the 40th President. But sometimes in awe of while sometimes bemused by his "square" of a dad, Ron delivers what many others have not, a down-the-middle portrait that admirers of his father and some memoir fans will likely enjoy.—Bob Nardini, Nashville [Page 71]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Reagan's beautifully written memoir is a conflicted tribute to a distant, almost mythical figure. Though he admits to being "quite close as father and son," the younger Reagan also considered his father "warm yet remote" and "intensely private." The son fares well in his first book-length foray, telling a surprisingly detailed story of his ancestors, analyzing examples of his father's heroic exploits, and relating touching accounts of his final years. The author is more concerned with showing how his father found his way through the world as a young man than he is about pulling back the curtain on the father-son relationship, which is a pity. The few filial episodes he recounts are predictable tales of moderate adolescent rebellion. The writer's wife emerges as the one person who tries—and fails—to push Reagan to examine deeper feelings. However, resentment is never far from the surface; his father's criticisms and reliance on political confidants at his son's expense seem to sting. "You're my son, so I have to love you. But sometimes you make it very hard to like you," his father once said, a passing reference that reveals more about the father-son relationship than Reagan dares share directly. (Jan.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The son of Ronald and Nancy Reagan presents an assessment of his father's life that features his childhood observations of the qualities that rendered the future fortieth president a powerful leader.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The son of Ronald and Nancy Reagan presents an intimate assessment of his father’s life that features his childhood observations of the qualities that rendered the future 40th President a powerful leader, in an account that also traces the author’s effort to learn more about his father’s past. 200,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Since his death in 2004, Ronald Reagan has remained not only one of the most popular and beloved presidents but also one of the most closely scrutinized, analyzed, and puzzled-over figures in recent American history. A paradox, an enigma, a mystery: Biographers and political scientists alike inevitably find themselves reaching similar conclusions about a man who was warm yet remote, a man of almost legendary affability who had virtually no close friends besides his wife in later life, a man who reveled in public display but remained intensely private, a man who was willing to call Soviet leaders to account yet behind the scenes carefully avoided conflict.In 2011, at the centenary of his birth, we may be no closer to understanding the forces that motivated and compelled him, but in My Father at 100 we have a uniquely privileged portrait of Ronald Reagan by the man who knew him as teacher, moral compass, occasional adversary, and father: his son Ron Reagan. As Ron grew up under his father's watchful gaze, he observed the very qualities that made the future president such a powerful leader. Yet for all of their shared experiences of horse-back rides and swimming matches, there was much that Ron never knew about his father's youth, and so in 2010 he set off for the small midwestern towns that served as the forge of Ronald Reagan's character and values. That journey into the past---where Ron discovers a young "Dutch" Reagan who was himself a devoted son, a fearless lifeguard, an aspiring athlete, and a student who eagerly joined a revolt against his college president---illuminates many of his own memories of his father, which he shares with warmth and wit.Whether stubbornly attempting to drive a pickup truck up an impossibly steep road on his ranch, facing down with almost uncanny cool a wildfire that threatened his home, or confronting his Alzheimer's disease with calm dignity, the Ronald Reagan we meet in this heartfelt and deeply touching portrait is not the man whom history and his own privacy have conspired to turn into a remote icon. Here, instead, is a father, a husband, a friend, and finally a human being with his own fears and foibles, yet armed with a set of unshakable principles that he sought to instill not only in his son, but also in the country he so fiercely loved.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A moving memoir of the beloved fortieth president of the United States, by his son. February 6, 2011, is the one hundredth anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth. To mark the occasion, Ron Reagan has written My Father at 100, an intimate look at the life of his father-one of the most popular presidents in American history-told from the perspective of someone who knew Ronald Reagan better than any adviser, friend, or colleague. As he grew up under his father's watchful gaze, he observed the very qualities that made the future president a powerful leader. Yet for all of their shared experiences of horseback rides and touch football games, there was much that Ron never knew about his father's past, and in My Father at 100, he sets out to understand this beloved, if often enigmatic, figure who turned his early tribulations into a stunning political career. Since his death in 2004, President Reagan has been a galvanizing force that personifies the values of an older America and represents an important era in national history. Ron Reagan traces the sources of these values in his father's early years and offers a heartfelt portrait of a man and his country-and his personal memories of the president he knew as "Dad."