For nearly 20 years, since she worked on his gubernatorial campaign, von Damm has been professionally involved with Ronald Reagan. An unwavering loyalist, she began as a typist, eventually becoming ambassador to her native Austria, a post she resigned under pressure in 1985. Many of the intervening years were spent in close company with the President and his senior staff. Yet this addition to the list of "insider" books sheds little new light on the workings of the Reagan White House. The author offers many familiar themes: the Meese/Baker rivalry, the growing power of "Mrs. R," the petty squabbles over guest lists and seating arrangements. Only in explaining the process by which political appointments were made, in which she was deeply involved as director of White House personnel, does the author provide any genuine insight. Reagan himself is portrayed as too regal and warm to be completely believable, von Damm's sole concession to objectivity being that she takes him to task for his management style.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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