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Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan

af Edmund Morris

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,1531217,383 (3.01)13
"When Ronald Reagan moved into the White House in 1981, one of his first literary guests was Edmund Morris, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Theodore Roosevelt. Morris developed a fascination for the genial yet inscrutable President and, after Reagan's landslide reelection in 1984, put aside the second volume of his life of Roosevelt to become an observing eye and ear at the White House." "Thus began a long biographical pilgrimage to the heart of Ronald Reagan's mystery, beginning with his birth in 1911 in the depths of rural Illinois (where he is still remembered as "Dutch," the dreamy son of an alcoholic father and a fiercely religious mother) and progressing through the way stations of an amazingly varied career: young lifeguard (he saved seventy-seven lives), aspiring writer, ace sportscaster, film star, soldier, union leader, corporate spokesman, Governor, and President. Reagan granted Morris full access to his personal papers, including early autobiographical stories and a handwritten White House diary." "During thirteen years of obsessive archival research and interviews with Reagan and his family, friends, admirers and enemies (the book's enormous dramatis personae includes such varied characters as Mikhail Gorbachev, Michelangelo Antonioni, Elie Wiesel, Mario Savio, Francois Mitterrand, Grant Wood, and Zippy the Pinhead), Morris lived what amounted to a doppelganger life, studying the young "Dutch," the middle-aged Cold Warrior, and the septuagenarian Chief Executive with a closeness and dispassion, not to mention alternations of amusement, horror, and amazed respect, unmatched by any other presidential biographer."--Jacket.… (mere)
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After reading Morris' excellent biography of Theodore Roosevelt [b:Theodore Rex|40923|Theodore Rex|Edmund Morris|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1388177930l/40923._SY75_.jpg|210239], I was so excited to read this biography of one of my favorite people. What a let down! This was a piece of garbage. This guy, Morris had as much access to Reagan as a writer could get, and could have written something great, but instead he wrote a bunch of garbage not even worth the paper it's printed on. If I could rate this zero stars, I would. I couldn't finish this garbage. What a waste! ( )
  MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
Written by Edmund Morris, author of the monumental biography of Theodore Roosevelt I consider the best biography I've ever read, DUTCH is both a thrill and a disappointment. The magnificent collation of detail and the majestic writing style which made the Roosevelt books so powerful are all here. But, for reasons he reasonably explains, Morris chose to take an unusual approach to this book, one in which he wrote not exactly as himself but as AN Edmund Morris who had grown up with Reagan and watched the key events of his life first-hand, something the real Morris, much younger than Reagan, could not have done. Thus there is a sense of primary access to Reagan's life, even though the early portions of the book are actually based on secondary sources (all rigorously cited). The later portions of the book are based on the real Morris's actual personal access to Reagan and thus are devoid of the fancied false familiarity of the early parts. Reagan gave Morris astonishing access to the presidency and the man who served in that office. This is the fortieth presidential biography I have read, and no other has given such a remarkable day-to-day view of life in the White House and the pressures, operations, and mechanics which make up life as the U.S. president. Morris is, on the whole, a balanced reporter. At times he seems to hold his subject in disdain, yet is generous with praise at other times. What I came away with was a portrait of Ronald Reagan as a far more intelligent man than many give him credit for being, and a man who at the same time allowed his very real vision for America to override many practical matters and considerations, allowing him to be blind at times to real suffering and human need. He seems an uncommonly warm man on the surface, yet one with little depth to his warmth. He was honest, truthful, respectful, diligent, humble, and creative when the situation mattered to him. But there were far too many areas that did not matter to him, not because he was evil, but because he was blind to such areas. Morris has done an extraordinary job of capturing one of the pivotal figures in American history, though his intriguing approach both gives a falsity to the very thing he wanted to show clearly and diverts the reader with spurious moments of false autobiography layered in to create verisimilitude-- the very thing it subverts. DUTCH is a brilliant biography with one central and prominent flaw. ( )
  jumblejim | Aug 26, 2023 |
It was an enjoyable enough read, if one remembers that it is a very embellished account with a lot of conversations created from hearsay or speculation. Don't read this while anticipating getting a definitive historical account of the events of Ronald Reagan's life or presidency. ( )
1 stem norcat | Apr 30, 2019 |
I found it strange that there was so much of the author's negative opinion interjected throughout so much of it. The reader needs to keep in mind there are bits of fiction added as well so this would be a little sketchy when considered as a biography. I would classify it as historical fiction. ( )
  MrsSearsy | Feb 21, 2018 |
Biography of Ronald Reagan ( )
  JackSweeney | Jan 9, 2017 |
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"When Ronald Reagan moved into the White House in 1981, one of his first literary guests was Edmund Morris, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Theodore Roosevelt. Morris developed a fascination for the genial yet inscrutable President and, after Reagan's landslide reelection in 1984, put aside the second volume of his life of Roosevelt to become an observing eye and ear at the White House." "Thus began a long biographical pilgrimage to the heart of Ronald Reagan's mystery, beginning with his birth in 1911 in the depths of rural Illinois (where he is still remembered as "Dutch," the dreamy son of an alcoholic father and a fiercely religious mother) and progressing through the way stations of an amazingly varied career: young lifeguard (he saved seventy-seven lives), aspiring writer, ace sportscaster, film star, soldier, union leader, corporate spokesman, Governor, and President. Reagan granted Morris full access to his personal papers, including early autobiographical stories and a handwritten White House diary." "During thirteen years of obsessive archival research and interviews with Reagan and his family, friends, admirers and enemies (the book's enormous dramatis personae includes such varied characters as Mikhail Gorbachev, Michelangelo Antonioni, Elie Wiesel, Mario Savio, Francois Mitterrand, Grant Wood, and Zippy the Pinhead), Morris lived what amounted to a doppelganger life, studying the young "Dutch," the middle-aged Cold Warrior, and the septuagenarian Chief Executive with a closeness and dispassion, not to mention alternations of amusement, horror, and amazed respect, unmatched by any other presidential biographer."--Jacket.

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