Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Raegan

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9780002177092: Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Raegan

The only biography ever authorized by a sitting President--yet written with complete interpretive freedom--Dutch is as revolutionary in method as it is formidable in scholarship. Thirteen years of exhaustive research in the archives of Washington and Hollywood, and thousands of hours of interviews with the President and his family, friends, allies, and enemies, equipped Morris with an unmatched knowledge of one of the twentieth century's greatest leaders. This monumental work offers the most insightful and elegant portrait to date of Ronald Reagan: the young "Dutch," the middle-aged Cold Warrior, and the septuagenarian Chief Executive. Written with imagination, yet always anchored by the weight of research and fact, Dutch stands as both a landmark in the form of biography and an unparalleled historical account of the rise and rule of Ronald Reagan.

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Review:

In what must surely be one of the most unusual and critically scrutinized biographies ever written, Edmund Morris has created a difficult but fascinating chronicle nearly as enigmatic as his book's inscrutable subject. Read by the author himself, this audio version comes replete with a special acknowledgment of the controversial nature of the book and an especially poignant closing passage addressing Reagan's senescent slide into dementia. In the explanatory preface Morris describes the rationale behind his unconventional effort: "When the biographer sits talking with the still living subject, as I did so often with President Reagan ... the story of his journey becomes, in effect, an autobiography, that interrelates with the biography he's writing. In other words, this is the true story of a real person told by an imaginary narrator who eventually mutates into myself." A curious and debatable strategy. However, using this unprecedented approach, Morris has created an unarguably intimate, highly detailed, and powerfully moving memoir which reaches a level of emotional resonance rarely achieved in more traditional biographies. (Running time: 9 hours, 6 cassettes) --George Laney

From the Back Cover:

"A compelling, richly informative, conceptually courageous book that constitutes a relentless pursuit of truth . . . the most insightful book in print about Ronald Reagan and the meaning of his presidency."
-Baltimore Sun

"A powerful and surprising portrait of a great world leader."
-USA Today

"An absolute page-turner . . . [Morris's] book is not just a riveting read. It takes as its model what is generally regarded as the greatest biography in the English language, James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson."
-The Washington Post Book World

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Published by Random House, Incorporated (1999)
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