Reagan Rising

About the Author: Craig Shirley


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  • Paperback
  • 432 pages
  • Reagan Rising
  • Craig Shirley
  • 27 October 2018
  • 9780062456540

Reagan Rising With A Foreword By Jon MeachamNew York Times Bestselling Biographer Craig Shirley Charts Ronald Reagan S Astonishing Rise From The Ashes Of His Lost 1976 Presidential Bid To Overwhelming Victory In 1980 American Conservatism And The Nation Itself Would Never Be The Same.In 1976, When Ronald Reagan Lost His Second Bid For The GOP Presidential Nomination The First Was In 1968 , Most Observers Believed His Political Career Was Over Yet One Year Later, At The Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, Reagan Sounded Like A New Man He Introduced Conservatives To A New Republican Party One That Looked Beyond The Traditional Country Club And Corporate Boardroom Base To Embrace The Man And Woman In The Factories The Farmer The Cop On The Beat Our Party, Reagan Said, Must Be The Party Of The Individual It Must Not Sell Out The Individual To Cater To The Group Reagan S Movement Quickly Spread, Championed By Emerging Conservative Leaders And Influential Think Tanks Meanwhile, For The First Time In Modern History, Reagan Also Began Drawing Young People To American Conservatism.But It Was Not Only The Former Governor S Political Philosophy That Was Changing A New Man Was Emerging As Well The Angry Anticommunist Was Evolving Into A Reflective, Thoughtful, Hopeful, And Spiritual Leader Championing The Individual At Home, Rejecting Containment And D Tente Abroad, And Advocating For The Defeat Of Soviet Communism, His Appeal Crossed Party Lines.At A Time When Conservatives Are Seeking To Redefine Their Identity In Light Of The Donald Trump Phenomenon, Reagan Rising Offers Insight Into The Development Of Reagan S Optimistic And Unifying Philosophy, And Offers Lessons For Both Established Republican Leaders As Well As Emerging Hopefuls.

10 thoughts on “Reagan Rising

  1. Steve says:

    Reagan Rising The Decisive Years, 1976 1980 by Craig Shirley was published in 2017 It is the most recently published and the second in sequence of four books by Shirley focused on various aspects of Ronald Reagan s national political career and retirement Shirley is an author and pubic affairs consultant, a member of the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch and a Trustee of Eureka College Reagan s alma mater His most recent book Citizen Newt The Making of a Reagan Conservative was published in 2017.This 329 page book, like the first book in the sequence Reagan s Revolution, is an extremely readable review of a relatively brief period of time In this case, Shirley s focus is the four year period between Reagan s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1976 and his successful effort to become the Republican presidential nominee in 1980.Though this is a biography focused principally on Reagan and his campaign and his competitors for the Republican nomination it also provides illuminating focus on the state of the Republican party following Gerald Ford s 1976 electoral loss as well as the political and economic climate of the country during Jimmy Carter s presidency.The author s writing style makes for a carefree and eminently comprehensible reading experience but it often proves far too breezy and informal And although Shirley s conspicuous enthusiasm for his subject did not memorably tarnish the narrative in Reagan Rising, here it allows Reagan s halo to perpetually shine while Ford, Carter and John Sears his campaign manager rarely seem than blundering fools.Shirley does a reasonable job introducing and developing characters central to the 1980 nomination fight such as Robert Dole, George H.W Bush and John Connally And he does well highlighting the various structural and self inflicted headwinds faced by the Carter administration But the most valuable insight Shirley provides may be the behind the scenes view of Reagan s campaign to which the the reader is treated turmoil and all.But the book s imperfections often overshadow its merits Where some presidential biographies groan under the weight of history and occasionally a sluggish literary style , reading this book is reminiscent of eating cotton candy It is often pleasant in the moment but eventually you decide there isn t quite enough substance And while Shirley thoughtfully injects cultural and economic context into the book, it often feels like filler rather than the political connective tissue found in some of Steven Hayward s coverage of Reagan.But most disappointing may be that the story of Reagan s presidential campaign from its inception through the New Hampshire primary consumes several often interesting chapters but the final five months of the campaign only requires three pages And the Republican convention itself including Reagan s selection of Bush as his VP garners hardly a full page Note coverage of Reagan s ensuing campaign against Carter as the Republican nominee is reserved for Rendezvous with Destiny which I am reading next Overall, Craig Shirley s Reagan Rising is disappointing as a review of the four years leading up to Ronald Reagan s selection in 1980 as the Republican presidential nominee Some of the disappointment is due to the author s writing style some is undoubtedly due to the book s relatively narrow scope But it is not at all clear that Reagan s primary campaign is better covered here than in the 30 pages it receives in Lou Cannon s Governor Reagan Overall rating 3 stars

  2. John Minster says:

    This book was just okay It seemed to be billed as a book about Reagan s ideological refinements and philosophical evolutions, and there was some of that, but it was very surface level Nothing deep, which was a disappointment for me Really this book is a solid, well written recount of events from the end of the 76 primary to the 80 general election Frankly however, it was not all that engaging, mostly because of the material itself Shirley writes in the same incredibly readable style as his other books this book picks up almost immediately after his book about the 76 campaign , but there is just less consequential stuff happening here The book really didn t start to pick up for me until the primary campaign, but that was already near the end I certainly learned some things, and it s obviously very well researched and pithily written, but ultimately I think Shirley was held back by the time period itself, as well as his choice to treat it the way he did.

  3. Edmond Dantes says:

    Ennesimo Libro di Shirley della sua monumentale biografia di Reagan.La Premessa quella di studiare gli anni tra la fallita campagne del 76 e la Vittoriosa Campagne del 1980Si dovrebbe studiare la evoluzione politica di Reagan e il suo smussare certe punte estremistiche in politica, mentra abbraccia la visione momnetarista della Economia che diventer la poi celebre supply side economics.Risultato Raggiunto solo in parte, metre molto spazio lasciato alle lotte intestine del Partito Repubblicano e alla impietosa analisi della Presidenza Carter.Nondimeno Lettura godibilissima.

  4. Jim Milway says:

    How could I not enjoy a book about Ronald Reagan s rise to power after his bitter defeat at the 1976 GOP convention But, I wish there was insight Reagan s thoughts and actions The most important example is the decision to hire and follow the lead of John Sears generally regarded as the campaign manager who almost blew Reagan s chances to get the 1980 nomination Did Reagan and his inner circle debate the issue much Why did Reagan choose him How did he conclude that it was time to fire him I did not realize the animosity between Reagan and Ford.The biggest surprise for me was the abject failure of the Carter presidency I had forgotten how bad he was as president and as a human being A small minded man The book takes us through the Carter White House s lurching from mistake to mistake The second biggest surprise was that I actually came away feeling sorry for Ted Kennedy who tried to wrest the Democratic nomination from Carter.All in all a good read on the politics of the 1976 80 period in the US I would liked a little depth into Reagan.

  5. Tom Stamper says:

    The time period here is Reagan between the 1976 convention and his winning the New Hampshire primary in 1980 If you have read Craig Shirley s other Reagan books then you know the Reagan insiders already, but here you get to know opponents like Howard Baker a little better Baker was a stand up guy and DC media loved him and thus they saw him as a much bigger opposition to Reagan than the voters did It reminds you of how this phenomenon is repeated with different people in nearly every election and why the media is taken less seriously year by year I like the profile that Craig gives us of John Connally, an LBJ acolyte that is made mostly of ambition and immodesty The descriptions and stories about George HW Bush help the reader understand how establishment Republicans co opted the term conservative after Reagan left office while drifting back into their big government instincts Reagan was a different animal It s why the voters are looking for another one Craig Shirley s books feel like after dinner conversations in their clarity and smoothness Read a few sentences and you are no longer reading history but sitting in the room with the participants wondering if Mike Deaver is going to throttle John Sears If Reagan is miffed you can picture the look on his face, not because Craig describes his face but because you can already see Reagan in your mind The talent it takes to accomplish this kind of writing is not fully appreciated You have to combine compelling material with style and suspense There was one sentence in the book where I had to stop and go back and read it again for clarity The only time in the book It made me realize how often I have to do that with other authors or even my own writing I can t imagine anyone is ever going to top Craig Shirley when it comes to books about how Reagan ran for office Even if you could dig up new information the writer is not going to be able emulate the alchemy I picked up his first book on Reagan expecting that I would grow tired with it after 100 pages I couldn t stop reading it I hope Craig Shirley lives to be a 100 and writes enough books about Reagan that we get a treatment of Reagan s time as second banana to Errol Flynn.

  6. Nicholas Quintero says:

    This is a good book I am only on page 91 so I am sure that when I am done with this book I will edit my review This is my first Craig Shirley book and this was published after the elections in 2017 The only reason I bring that up is because I can see the author make many connection to the 2016 presidential election and Donald Trump These connections are implied in every chapter I have read so far I think the author is trying to make a connection between Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan and because the author focuses on certain events that connect them while leaving the reader with not a very good chronological understanding of what is happening in these years What was Reagan thinking when he lost the primary to Ford This is a question that the book did not answer when it should have I believe it is not answered because it doesn t lead to a connection with Trump, so it s just skipped I also found that Shirley repeats himself in this book If you are going to tell us that Jimmy Carter was going soft on the Soviet Union please just tell me once with evidence and not three times within two chapters This book does have a problem with organization and I believe it would have been better to break this time period down by themes.

  7. Bill Hughes says:

    Craig Shirley s series of biographies on Reagan are phenomenal Detailed and well structured, they reveal a lot of Reagan s character and leadership without being overly biased in favor of him This book was good but felt like it rambled a bit without a strong structure like the other books It also repeated a lot of content from his book on Reagan s 1976 campaign and his book on Reagan s 1980 campaign I was expecting this book to focus on the commentaries he wrote and his speaking and racial career during that time Instead the book largely recycled content from his previous books It was still an enjoyable read but it lacked originality as it repeated so much from previous books That said, I hope he will write one about the 1984 campaign to complete the collection.

  8. Nicky Billou says:

    An inside look at Reagan s wilderness years and the cast of characters around him that made that era so colourful and fascinating to live through and learn about As a fan of the 40the President, I throughly enjoyed this book It showed me how this man, the quintessential conviction politician, won the day and became the 20th century s greatest American President Bravo Craig Shirley for doing such a masterful job.

  9. Bob Kuster says:

    What Robert Caro is to LBJ, Craig Shirley is to Ronald Reagan A good source of all things Reagan This is his fourth Reagan book and I hope there are to come Ideally he will write books on Reagan s two terms as President This book drops a stunner with Walter Mondale s reaction to Jimmy Carter crisis of confidence speech If you want to learn about Ronald Reagan, read any Craig Shirley book followed by any Lou Cannon book You will not be disappointed.

  10. Tim Brown says:

    Harkened back to my high school years, which coincided with this book s timeline Time of feckless Carter presidency, gas shortages, stagflation, and, during my sopho year, no sports because Rockford couldn t afford them Struck by Reagan s determination to change the existing dysfunctional order.