My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

CarterCoinA good rule-of-thumb suggests that 25-30 years are required before sufficient time and historical distance have passed to take the true measure of a presidency. By that standard, Ronald Reagan may be the most recent president whose tenure we can objectively assess.

And while I’ve enjoyed almost every moment of this 2,180 day (and counting!) biographical journey, Ronald Reagan is the president whose biographies I’ve most looked forward to reading. After all, he’s the first president whose time in the White House I distinctly remember.

Over the past 2½ months I read a dozen biographies of Reagan including three traditional biographies, one “character study”, a two-volume series by Lou Cannon, a two-volume series by Steven Hayward and a four-volume “biographical coalition” by Craig Shirley.

It was a fascinating undertaking, to say the least…

* * *

* “Reagan: The Life” (2015) by H. W. Brands – this is…

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