WHAT MADE RONALD REAGAN TICK? What was the secret to his greatness, the source of his influence, the key to his character, the strength behind his leadership?
And why does it matter to the nation today?
Just the mention of his name still evokes deep admiration and affection among Americans of every stripe, on both sides of the aisle. Many have previously sought to capture the essence of this very public figure often called "mysterious and unknowable." But now, as James Rosebush tells Reagan's story from first-hand experience in TRUE REAGAN, we come closer to understanding the heart of this great American.
In his roles as the longest-serving Chief of Staff to Nancy Reagan and Deputy Assistant to President Reagan (his point man on philanthropy and public/private partnerships), James Rosebush had unrivaled one-on-one access to Reagan, observing his personality, his decision-making, his guarded nature. Rosebush's revelations are moving and meant to inspire us to look to our 40th President for guidance now as we face the global challenges of a complicated 21st century.
Ronald Reagan was first and foremost an intensely private person, although the life he led placed him at the center of people's attention from his earliest years. Small-town boy and college athlete, sportscaster and lifelong sports fan, actor and movie star, union leader and TV spokesman, Democrat and Republican, governor and president: what an incredible and extraordinary path. Rosebush tells how his center core was formed by his mother, who devoted herself to helping others even as the Reagans struggled themselves. The spiritual foundation she instilled in him by teaching him the Bible governed his thoughts, beliefs and actions all his life.
In a very real sense, his upbringing destined Reagan to become a global evangelist for American Exceptionalism - but importantly, as Rosebush learned first-hand, that did not mean Reagan thought Americans themselves were superior, as today's pundits and politicians often preach. Rather, Reagan believed that the ideals of America's founding were superior, enabling all Americans to live lives based on high ideals and spiritual principles, and thus achieve unparalleled success. Reagan was uniquely able to lead from true conviction and strength, his confidence stemming from an unshakeable fundamental belief system.
Better understanding the essence of this inspiring and principled leader is critical to our future. Journey back with Rosebush through the innumerable examples he recounts from first-hand observation and marvel once again at TRUE REAGAN.
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About the Author
JAMES ROSEBUSH was the Deputy Assistant to President Reagan, the Chief of Staff to First Lady Nancy Reagan, and a senior advisor at The White House. His first book, First Lady, Public Wife was lauded as the first book that assessed the non-elected job of First Lady.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Where Is the Rest of Me? 1
Chapter 1 His Beliefs Were His Arsenal, and Words His Weapons 11
Chapter 2 The Source of His Bedrock Beliefs 29
Chapter 3 Reagan, Focused and Self-Contained 43
Chapter 4 The Global Evangelist 66
Chapter 5 Words That Fight like Soldiers 99
Chapter 6 Master of the Visual Image 120
Chapter 7 Man of Faith in a Secular Pulpit 144
Chapter 8 Looking Evil in the Eye 167
Chapter 9 Chief Salesman 181
Chapter 10 Risk Taker 202
Chapter 11 American Exceptionalism and the Role of Government 217
Chapter 12 Rebuilding American Strength 231
Chapter 13 Man of Modest Philanthropy and Midwestern Warmth 237
Chapter 14 Americans Were His Heroes 250
Chapter 15 The Way He Said Good-Bye 255
Epilogue: Does Ronald Reagan Have a Future? 261
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Though Reagan was famous with his generation for having starred in movies, the fact was his resume included many more jobs than just appearing in films - all of them preparing him for and leading up to his ultimate starring role as President. Reagan was President for eight years, but the world was never on intimate terms with him. The world never owned a little bit of him as it has some other leaders who have lived out their personal lives in public. He made many of us feel better and more secure about our own lives but we were never invited into his. According to Fouad Ajami of Stanford University, 'The Reagan presidency was about America, and never about Ronald Reagan." (pg 63). In the book, True Reagan by James Rosebush, readers are given a rare glimpse into the man who many considered the last great President of the United States, like we never have before. James Rosebush was the longest-serving Chief of Staff to Nancy Reagan and Deputy Assistant to President Reagan, and through this book, we learn what made Reagan tick, what was the secret to his greatness, the source of his influence, the key to his character and the strength behind his leadership? "He has been out of office for nearly three decades, and yet the name of Ronald Reagan is heard often today. Even as history fades and the precise details of his presidency become less distinct, many believe that the fortieth President of the United States would have answers to the complex and almost implacable issues we face today, or, at minimum, he might have the bearing and the strength of character to significantly improve global geopolitical conditions. In our extraordinarily disruptive world, Reagan is recalled as a leader who could verbally wrestle global agitators into submission. Some people look for his character traits to be represented in the voices of today's leaders. Few find them there." (pg 1). It is hard not to look back in history and see the confidence and strength that came from a man who gained the respect not only of his own country but of the world in his negotiations with some difficult situations in office. Many claim that Reagan was the one responsible for Gorbachev tearing down the Berlin Wall in spite of ongoing tensions during the Cold War with Russia. Many don't know that Reagan was both a Democrat and Republican, Actor, Life Guard, Sportcaster, Governor and President, but also the son of a preacher, not his father but mother, and wonderful devoted husband. While he led our country through eight years, he never hid behind his title or garnered attention in office. In fact, he was a private man who spent most of his time, living out his faith in ways many won't understand until he left office. He was bold, yet humble, strong yet assertive, and most of all I believe he was the last great President this nation has had. I received True Reagan by James Rosebush compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups in exchange for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my personal and honest evaluation. There are so many great quotes from this book in numerous speeches that Reagan gave during some of his highlights during his presidency. Since I grew up with him as President, I never considered the depth of his character until many years later. I feel I missed an opportunity to really know him in light of the recent presidents that have held office after his.