Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan

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9781595555342: Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan

His name in American politics is more cited than any other president. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are radically different today, mainly as a result of Ronald Reagan and the force of his ideas. No twentieth century president shaped the American political landscape so profoundly.

Craig Shirley's Last Act is the important final chapter in the life of Reagan that no one has thus far covered. It's the kind of book that widens our understanding of American history and of the presidency and the men who occupied it. To tell Reagan's story, Craig has secured the complete, exclusive, and enthusiastic support of the Reagan Foundation and Library and spent considerable time there reviewing sealed files and confidential information.

Cast in a grand and compelling narrative style, Last Act contains interesting and heretofore untold anecdotes about Reagan, Mrs. Reagan, their pleasure at retirement, the onslaught of the awful Alzheimer's and how he and Mrs. Reagan dealt with the diagnosis, the slow demise, the extensive plans for a state funeral, the outpouring from the nation, which stunned the political establishment, the Reagan legacy, and how his shadow looms more and more over the Republican Party, Washington, the culture of America, and the world.

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From the Back Cover:


"In this affectionate and often moving book, Craig Shirley has given us a remarkable account of Ronald Reagan's 'long goodbye,' chronicling the final years of an American original who bent history in the service of freedom. This is an invaluable book about an invaluable man."--Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion"Ronald Reagan may have had a 'Last Act' in this life, but his principles are timeless. Craig Shirley reveals new information about Reagan's last days on earth in a deeply moving book that will bring tears to your eyes, strengthen your political resolve and inspire you to build on his legacy."--Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist"As we consider the next Reagan, here is the last Reagan, whose legacy must serve as a roadmap for the next American comeback."--Monica Crowley, Ph.D.,Fox News political and foreign affairs analyst & Washington Times editor and columnist"Craig Shirley is a walking encyclopedia on all things Ronald Reagan. His latest, Last Act, delves into Reagan's post-presidential life with verve and insight, breaking plenty of new ground. The story of Reagan's battling the curse of Alzheimer's disease is utterly riveting. Highly recommended!"--Doug Brinkley, editor of The Reagan Diaries"With this book, Craig Shirley cements his place as the premier Reagan biographer. As revealing as his earlier volumes on Reagan were, this one is especially fascinating, chock full of new revelations and captivating observations about the former president's twilight years."--Dr. Larry J. Sabato, founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia; author of The Kennedy Half Century"Craig Shirley's Last Act is a worthy successor to his earlier, fine accounts of Ronald Reagan's life and times. The book offers striking insights into Reagan the man--and also into America the country he so loved."--William Kristol, editor, The Weekly Standard"Through never-before revealed interviews and expert analysis, Last Act by Craig Shirley pulls back the curtain on the life, last days, and legacy of Ronald Reagan--an exceptional president who believed in American exceptionalism above all else. Important. Essential. Bravo."--Jane Hampton Cook, author of American Phoenix"In the past, Craig Shirley meticulously documented Reagan's pre-presidential years; now, he meticulously documents Reagan's post-presidential years. His enlightening concept is punctuated by his usual exhaustive research and diligence in interviewing so many of the people who knew Ronald Reagan. And beyond the research is simply a touching story of a great man's final days. Last Act is a look at Ronald Reagan that is well worth your time."--Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College"Ronald Reagan's story is so rich and resonant--so profoundly American--that it can only be told, in its full range and complexity, by a biographer of extraordinary dedication to subject and craft. LBJ had Robert Caro; and Ronald Reagan has Craig Shirley. In Last Act, Shirley brings us the final years of a twentieth-century icon, issuing a challenge not just to other Reagan biographers but to the discipline of biography itself."--James Rosen, Fox News Chief Washington Correspondent and author of The Cheney Tapes

About the Author:

Craig Shirley is the author of four critically praised bestsellers about Ronald Reagan, Reagan’s RevolutionRendezvous with Destiny, Last Act, and Reagan Rising. His book December 1941 appeared multiple times on the New York Times bestseller list. Shirley is chairman of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs and is a widely sought-after speaker and commentator. The Visiting Reagan Scholar at Eureka College, Shirley is on the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch and lectures frequently at the Reagan Library, and he has written extensively for the Washington Post, the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, the Los Angeles TimesTownhallNewsmaxBreitbartNational ReviewLifeZetteCNS, and many other publications. Considered one of the foremost public intellectuals on the history of conservatism in America, Shirley is writing a book on George Washington’s family.

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