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Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency

Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency


Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency

ratings:
4/5 (56 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 22, 2015
ISBN:
9781427262318
Format:
Audiobook

Description

From the bestselling team of Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard comes Killing Reagan, an epic account of the career of President Ronald Reagan that tells the vivid story of his rise to power — and the forces of evil that conspired to bring him down.

Just two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman's bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable — or so it seemed. But Reagan was grievously injured, forcing him to encounter a challenge that few men ever face. Could he silently overcome his traumatic experience while at the same time carrying out the duties of the most powerful man in the world?

Told in the same riveting fashion as Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Patton, Killing Reagan reaches back to the golden days of Hollywood, where Reagan found both fame and heartbreak, up through the years in the California governor's mansion, and finally to the White House, where he presided over boom years and the fall of the Iron Curtain. But it was John Hinckley Jr.'s attack on him that precipitated President Reagan's most heroic actions. In Killing Reagan, O'Reilly and Dugard take readers behind the scenes, creating an unforgettable portrait of a great man operating in violent times.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Publisher:
Released:
Sep 22, 2015
ISBN:
9781427262318
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

For more than thirteen years, three-time Emmy Award winner Bill O’REillyhas presided over The O’Reilly Factor on the FOX News Channel, the highest-ratednews program on cable. Prior to that, he served as a national correspondent for ABCNews and as an anchor of the nationally syndicated news magazine program InsideEdition. He is the author of numerous megabestsellers, including A Bold Fresh Pieceof Humanity, a deeply personal memoir that has sold more than one million copies.


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Reviews

What people think about Killing Reagan

4.2
56 ratings / 16 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Having only listened to one other "Killing" book ("Killing England"), I wasn't really sure what to expect from "Killing Reagan." I was happy to see it covered most of Reagan's life, not just the immediate years leading up to the assassination attempt and the recovery period thereafter. I've read little on Reagan and was in my formative years (10-18) during his presidency. Ideologically, I am a fan of Reagan and the book's insight into his politics strengthened my respect for his beliefs and fortitude.While in no way in-depth, "Killing Reagan" seems to do a good job covering the highs and lows of his life and presidency. The book does seem to make a big deal out of not only Nancy's belief in astrology but in Reagan's too. However, at the end it offers a personal letter from Reagan to a friend flatly denying this."Killing Reagan" is a quick read that will give an adequate overview of the man, his beliefs, his impact on the world stage, and his decline.
  • (3/5)
    About what you would expect for an O'Reilly/Dugard entry. I learned a lot about the political climate from Kennedy through the first Bush years that I hadn't known before and have a better understanding of some historical events. I don't know that the authors really answer their proposed question of whether the assassination attempt's surgery contributed to Reagan's death years later.
  • (4/5)
    Really surprised I liked this for so many reasons. Maybe it was because I lived through the 80's but as a kid, didn't really get the implication of events. Reading about history, with a retrospective lens, was eye-opening and helped me "connect the dots". I didn't realize I had gaping holes in my knowledge or understanding. I think my fondness of this book comes from those revelations, less about Reagan, Nancy or John Hinckley Jr.
  • (3/5)
    This book was better than I thought. I am not sure that all the representations about Reagan and particularly his health are correct. George Will was very critical of the book, particularly in regards to Reagan's mental state during the second term of his presidency. I had expected an almost saintly portrayal of Reagan by O'Reilly but that didn't happen. Reagan was human with a variety of flaws. I thought that he was overrated by his supporters and certain historians. I admit that I skimmed over the chapters related to John Hinckley. I may take a look at some of O'Reilly's other books based on my experience here.
  • (5/5)
    Fun listen and worth your time. I especially enjoyed the inside look into Reagans past!
  • (3/5)
    Some pretty interesting history but not as wonderful as it started!
  • (4/5)
    President Reagan vulnerability we shown. Also Nancy Reagan's unusual influence was illustrated
  • (1/5)
    Easily the least favorite of the series. Ripe with inaccuracies and biased opinion.
  • (5/5)
    Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard have brought to live another incredible in the Killling series with Killing Reagan. A fascinating and gripping story about how the 40th President Ronald Reagan was forever changed after his assignation attempt. Killing Reagan brings to life the journey of Ronald Reagan's life as a B-actor to becoming one of the most beloved governors of California. His rise in the Republican party and his presidency has made him a man still to this day followed and respected by many. I was shocked to learn that during the Reagan's time in the White House, Nancy Reagan consulted a astrologer to determine the schedule that Ronnie would take that day. What I also found quite intriguing was the fact that Nancy Reagan control the power of the White House during the Reagan Presidency. A decision was not made unless Nancy okayed, and approved it after Reagan's assassination attempt. At one points Reagan's head council were even concerned whether he could continue being commander in chief, due to Reagan having very good days and days where he would not even come down from the residency quarters. In the end Reagan proved to them all that he still had the mind to set this great country on track, bringing an end to communism. I truly believe no other President could have caused the direct link to the Berlin Wall coming down. With that said when it came to such intimate details revealed in the book, I am a little surprised that O'Reilly published the book while Nancy Reagan is still alive. I truly feel though that the real reason for the release of the book now is based on the current standings our country is facing with the 2016 Presidential election. O'Reilly wants to remind Americans through this historical book the fact that this country once elected a great President, that forever changed America for the better and it can be done again. Yet another phenomenal book by the O'Reilly and Dugard.
  • (4/5)
    Killing Regan is a balanced and respectful biography of one America's iconic presidents. Easy to read, I breezed through the book as it touched on Reagan's beginnings in Hollywood and his political career. You don't get an immensely detailed study of the man, but you do get a good amount of information about the attempted assignation and how it affected Reagan physically and mentally. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it as a primer for more weighty books detailing President Reagan's life and legacy.
  • (3/5)
    I chose to read Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O'Reilly because i both like and admire Reagan and because I loved his earlier book Killing Jesus. But alas I was disappointed. There is little new in this book and it is really Killing Reagan Lite. It is written for a sixth grader so it is a quick read but not worth a detour.
  • (4/5)
    This was my first O'Reilly "Killing" book. I'm not sure whether I'm better off for having read it. As with almost any book, I learned from it but I can't make up my mind whether I needed to be educated in what O'Reilly brings to the table. Clearly, this is a dispassionate revelation ... O'Reilly seems to be indifferent to Reagan as a President but he emphasizes Nancy's role in organizing the whole of Reagan's life yet he fails to explain how Reagan functioned away from her. I think this was a book O'Reilly felt he had to write, so he wrote it.
  • (5/5)
    One of the better books I have listened to
    I look forward to many other books of this kind
  • (4/5)
    After reading the first couple pages of this book, I remarked to someone that the book made me feel “sleazy,” due to how it is written and presented to a reader. Sleaze may not be the right term, perhaps the words “trashy,” “sensational,” or “tabloid” depict the book's presentation better. In spite of these negative words, the book is reasonably well written, and according to authors, well documented, in that they claim the material presented could be confirmed through at least two sources (290).One of my reasons for acquiring the book is the fact that Ronald Reagan had a Disciples of Christ religious background. While the book presents little of Reagan’s religious beliefs or influences (146-147, 182, 274), the Disciples of Christ denomination is mentioned in the context of his marriage to Nancy Davis (45) and that it was the church of his mother, Nelle (48), who is also referred to as “a Bible-thumping mother” (26).The author's weave together the lives of Reagan, many of his foes, friends, and acquaintances, and the pathetic near-assassin, John Hinckley, Jr., in the years prior to, during, and following the assassination attempt on March 30, 1981.The book is enhanced by the inclusion of over twenty photos and several maps. It includes a helpful index.In the end, I am glad to have read the book as I've learned details related to this tragic event in history that I likely would not have otherwise learned.
  • (3/5)
    “Killing Reagan,” the latest in Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” series is a formulaic, fast reading, thumbnail sketch of the title character. And to that end, it’s OK. However, it seems that O’Reilly and co-author, Martin Dugard, rather than focus on Reagan’s accomplishment, focus instead on his human frailties, foreshadowing at first; showcasing thereafter. The highlights of Reagan’s amazing life story are seemingly relegated to incidental background, reminiscent of Meryl Streep’s dystopic portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” It too focused on Thatcher’s mental decline, telling her story in flashbacks as seen from the torment of her dementia while her heroic leadership of the Great Britain serves as a sporadic, dimly lit backdrop. Still, Miss Streep’s accent was “spot on!” And that’s what mattered.While reading “Killing Reagan” or watching “The Iron Lady,” one would think world events evolved in spite of their efforts, not because of them. And therein lies my major beef with O’Reilly’s take on Reagan’s life. “Killing Reagan” is, however, a good, thumbnail sketch of John Hinckley Jr.’s life and decent into madness. So kudos there.All in all, it’s not a bad book, but one rife with the contemporary bias of “look what a smart, brave journalist I am” skulking about in the tall grass. And frankly, I’ve had about all of that I care to see. Overall grade is “two and a half stars.” Good for what it purports to be but somewhat lacking in the portrayal of a great man.
  • (4/5)
    Killing Reagan, Bill O’Reilly, Martin DugardO’Reilly has written a series of books with his co-author that are informative and entertaining, while also being non-fiction, a genre that is not often at the top of the best-seller list for many authors. His consistently are. His concise style of presenting the facts, without fanfare but with interesting details, has captured a huge audience, young and old.Killing Reagan is no exception. With a clear and descriptive vocabulary, he manages to put forth a story about a man that has been extolled as a hero by some and a demon by others, in a way that makes him rather more human than renowned. Nancy Reagan is portrayed as the woman behind the throne, especially when Reagan’s mental faculties begin to fail. She fiercely protects this husband she loves and always puts him before any other concern. Although her behavior sometimes left a great deal to desire when it came to others, her loyalty to him was unconditional and beyond question. He always came first. At the same time, she also showed preference to their children over his from his first marriage to Jane Wyman, and she never hid her feelings of dislike toward various government officials, even going so far as engineering their dismissals. There are no great revelations in the book, but certain events occurring during Reagan’s life and Presidency are dealt with in greater detail and with far more depth. According to O’Reilly, the book has been well researched and is a presentation of the facts. Historic events that occurred during his productive years are covered, and even Reagan’s mental decline is discussed at length, as is his distaste for Communism and the Soviet Empire. Nothing was off the table. The hostage release immediately after he was inaugurated, the Iran/Contra scandal, the acts of terror in Lebanon and elsewhere are covered as well as his own betrayal of fellow performers to Senator McCarthy followers in their anti-Communist campaign of terror. Equally expressed on the more positive side is his patriotism and love of country along with his eventual total support and love of his wife, after years of womanizing.The book feels a bit disorganized as it jumps back and forth in time, repeating the mention of certain events when referring to people he was involved with during his time as an actor and then during the time of his rise in politics which led from the Governor’s Mansion in California to the White House. He attributes the successful road he traveled to his wife, Nancy Reagan, and in the end, she seemed much more like a mother, than a spouse, as she told him what to do on many occasions. She was the ultimate caretaker of Ronald Reagan, especially as his health deteriorated.At times I felt the book overly concerned itself with certain characters like John Hinckley, but then O’Reilly’s premise appears to be that he was the beginning of the end for Ronald Reagan. The injuries he suffered the day of the attempted assassination may have begun his eventual mental decline. Reagan’s life and career involved many famous people, by the very nature of his occupations. He mixed with the media, famous Hollywood stars and famous politicians. Their names are sprinkled throughout the book, some more heavily than others. In some ways he shows how the media can assassinate someone by putting out information, right or wrong, as with the headline that James Brady had died although he was very much alive. Gossip also takes the center stage with the media, then and now. There are tidbits of information presented that I had not known before and the information was given in a very easy to read approach. No matter what you think of the President or the First Lady, no one will dispute the fact that the Reagans were lovebirds. What I learned from the book was this: they were not the darlings that I grew up thinking they were. They were, at times, very competitive, vindictive and jealous of the achievements of others if those achievements stood in their way. They held grudges and took revenge, perhaps Nancy did more than Ronald, but nevertheless, it was obvious that they had clay feet as well as strength in office. In the end, Nancy, most assuredly, was the strength behind the man. There was an interesting quote from Maureen Reagan who succumbed at a young age to Cancer. Referring to the fact that she was sent to boarding school, she remarked about the difference between the parenting skills of a caregiver and a parent, implying that the parent might do a better job. However, today, it would seem that most parents rely on caregivers and the remark gave me pause, leading me to wonder about the generations of adults to come who are raised primarily by caregivers, with parents having the minor role, preferring to preoccupy themselves with earning money and their purchase power. Also, Jane Wyman was not the woman I remember from the screen. She could be crude and coarse and at the end of her life actually reversed herself into a devout follower of Catholicism. O’Reilly takes Reagan from his first career as a baseball journalist to an actor, from an actor to an activist and then ultimately to a politician who set his sights on the White House, and with the very able help of his wife, he winds up right smack in the Oval Office!