The Reagans : portrait of a marriage

by Edwards, Anne, 1927-

Format: Print Book 2003
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction E877.2.E396 2003
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  E877.2.E396 2003
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 920 EDWARDS
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  920 EDWARDS
Northland Public Library Biography B REAGAN
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B REAGAN
He was an actor, newly divorced, whose controversial tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild was drawing more attention than his film career. She was a contract player at MGM, unmarried and rapidly growing too old to play the starlet. It was time, she decided, to settle down and become Mrs. Somebody Important. So Nancy Davis contrived an introduction to Ronald Reagan, and the Reagans' march into history began.

The Reagans is their story, a penetrating portrayal of one of the most powerful couples of the twentieth century. Distinguished biographer Anne Edwards, who wrote the seminal book on Ronald Reagan's budding years, Early Reagan: The Rise to Power , now paints the first in-depth, intimate portrait of the man who became our fortieth president and the woman without whom he might never have reached such heights.

It was a dramatic love story from the start: Nancy was always first in Reagan's thoughts, and he was paramount in Nancy's actions. This obsessional love, however, had a darker side for the four Reagan children. Anne Edwards brings the Reagans' dysfunctional family life into sharp focus, along with a fascinating array of supporting players---from Reagan's evangelistic mother, Nelle, to Nancy's adoptive father, Dr. Loyal Davis (said to be "right of Atilla the Hun"), as well as Frank Sinatra, Lew Wasserman, Barry Goldwater, Gerald Ford, and other key figures in government and entertainment.

Few women in the twentieth century had as much power as did Nancy Reagan, and few were so widely mistrusted and disliked. Anne Edwards shows you a side of Nancy that has never before been revealed. As Reagan rose to power, Nancy defended her husband's interests with both opponents and supporters---and then took on the even more difficult battle to maintain her husband's dignity through his descent into Alzheimer's disease.

The Reagans is an original and mesmerizing look at a presidential marriage that is every bit as interesting and important as that of John and Abigail Adams or Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The subtitle is a bit misleading. Portrait suggests either a crisp photograph or an impressionistic painting. This is neither: all the body parts are in the right places, but what we see is not as sharp as a photo nor as textured as a painting. Veteran celebrity biographer Edwards (Streisand, Hepburn, Garland) offers a by-the-numbers bio that probably won't deliver much new information to anyone who has read previous books about the Reagans; the last chapters do fill in a few details of the couple's life after the former president's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Despite considerable research, including personal interviews--Maureen Reagan was among the subjects--and time spent at various libraries looking at original sources, Edwards curiously avoids making connections or drawing conclusions from the facts she presents. The Reagans' devotion to each other is, of course, legendary, and most people know that the family-values president's own family was dysfunctional, to say the least. Although readers get the "what" of these relationships (often seasoned with quotes from the principals' own books), not much of a case is made for the "why" except in the most general terms. Why did Reagan let Nancy relegate his older children to second-class citizenship status? Why were the children so estranged from each other? Edwards is a recognizable name in the celebrity-bio business, which may sell the book, but it is a serviceable job at best. --Ilene Cooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Even in his 70s, Ronald Reagan would leave sentimental love notes for his wife, Nancy: "For My Mommy Poo... Love Poppa." In her latest book, prolific biographer Edwards (Ever After: Diana and the Life She Led) paints a portrait of the Reagans as completely in love. From the day they married, Nancy devoted her every moment to ensuring her husband's happiness. He, in turn, relied completely on Nancy and trusted her wholly. Those close to the couple admit that Reagan's success in politics would not have occurred without Nancy's constant devotion and involvement. Throughout his governorship of California, his presidency, the assassination attempt, his meetings with Gorbachev-Nancy's sentiments, advice and complaints figured prominently, to the extent that the president of the United States rearranged his schedule according to the advice of Nancy's favorite astrologer. But according to Edwards, this romantic picture came at a price. The Reagans' children yearned for their parents' love and acceptance, but found that the couple's all-encompassing relationship did not include them. While Edwards celebrates the Reagans' achievements, she does not shy away from presenting the darker, grimmer side of their life and does a wonderful job of fully fleshing out the convoluted and tortured emotions that define this famous family. In all, she offers an engaging yet honest look at the human experience played out on the public stage. 32 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. Agent, Mitch Douglas. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Reagan, Ronald -- Marriage.
Reagan, Nancy, -- 1921-2016 -- Marriage.
Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
Presidents' spouses -- United States -- Biography.
Married people -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :St. Martin's Press,2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description x, 420 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [407]-410) and index.
ISBN 0312285000
Other Classic View