I have just finished reading the new O’Reilly/Dugard book “Killing Reagan”. It’s the first book that I’ve read in the series of “Killing” books by O’Reilly. I picked it up at a store recently and was immediately impressed with the delivery. It is a well organized and fascinating read from beginning to end. I believe you will agree if you choose to get a copy of the book that it is a great read.
So let me speak first to delivery of the book – it’s well written and the progression of the book is wonderful. I read the book in three sittings (which is not typical for my reading habits). The story is well-crafted and the snippets of history throughout Reagan’s rise are truly fascinating (Nixon, Ford, Carter, etc). In a short book, you really get a cross-section of history. You will feel like you’re on a fast track through presidential history. Given the fact that we’re in an election cycle, it was a great quick tour in anticipation of next year’s election.
As far as the message of the book, O’Reilly reveals the harsh realities of Reagan’s early days and marital troubles. He reveals an acting career on the decline contrasted against Reagan’s rise in politics. Throughout the book, you will read of Nancy Reagan’s powerful hand leading her husband toward the dream of him serving one day as president. O’Reilly presents much of this rise in power to Nancy’s refusal to live a lifestyle outside of the high life of Hollywood. She wanted only the best and the finest! But, if you develop a harsh view of her throughout the book, the ending will forgive it all as she is faithful to stand by her husband through his fading days. The book will lead you to tears as you walk through the final years, days, and hours (as so many of us have seen the impact of the disease of Alzheimer’s).
So I highly recommend the book. There is crude language in several chapters of the book and content in some chapters that you would not want younger kids reading (maybe there will be a younger kids adaptation of the book later). Still, I think it’s a great book and I’m glad I picked it up and finished it! You can add your thoughts later as you read the book.