Saturday, December 26, 2015

KILLING REAGAN - a Review

For months now I have been working, on and off, to finish a book by Luther as an attempt to include something about the great Reformer as part of the Reformation season.  Once again, however, I was distracted by another fascinating book.  As many are aware, Bill O'Reilly, with Marin Dugard, has authored a whole series of books in the "Killing..." series.  I now own and possess a few of these.  This book, Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency (2015) is a brief but informative treatment not only of Reagan's earlier past, but especially of his presidency, and then of his eventual physical and mental decline leading to his death in 2004.  It was interesting to read about a history of events that took place mainly while I was in college and seminary, but in which I apparently took only passing interest. Many names sounded familiar, as did numerous events, but I never looked deeply into them.  Only now, well into my middle years, am I catching up and taking a closer look at events that were no pivotal to world history in my formative educational years.  I am aware that there is some controversy surrounding this book.  Any book, especially by a media personality with such a high profile as Bill O'Reilly, will be placed under an exceptional amount of scrutiny and careful critique.  I am certainly not enough of an historian or an expert to evaluate these criticisms.  All in all, however, it was interesting and informative.  It was also humbling to think that such great men as Regan were also very human, suffering the same struggles and setbacks as others of lesser popularity. O'Reilly seems to spare nothing, without entering into a biased attack familiar to the bitter enemies one makes in life.
Details on the controversy are summarized in a brief Wikipedia article here.  After reading it, I think that I should probably read a bit more from other established biographies.

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