A shocking portrait of the 1980s, of America, and of the woman whose position helped shape the values and policies of the Reagan administration. Through over 1,000 interviews collected during four years of exhaustive research and reporting, Kelley reveals Nancy Reagan as a superb public performer; a vain, materialistic social climber; a bitter foe; and formidable strategist - an American phenomenon.
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I was a bit disappointed by this book. If only half of it is true, I would not have liked to meet Nancy Reagan, much less work for her. She is depicted as horrible and her husband as an old fool without a thought in his head. Both of them treated they children in a terrible way and used the presidency only as a means to get rich and party. Maybe all of it is true, but I would have liked the book more if the good and fascinating sides of Nancy Reagan and her husband had been appreciated as well. Otherwise, the only thing one can learn is that the American people voted for a foolish man with a horrible wife. This is not enough. I am no fan of Nancy Reagan, but a biography that leaves you with nothing but the conviction that you spent your time on a horrible person does not do its job. As a reader, I want to understand a person not simply to hate her. Kelley's books are often rather negative. When I read her book about the Bush-family, I wondered if George HW Bush had had any good qualities at all. When I listened to Nancy Reagan, all of a sudden there were good qualities of Father Bush - but only depicted to show how bad Nancy Reagan was.