Some might be confused by the title of the latest of author Bill O’Reilly’s non-fiction books featuring the “killing” of famous figures. So what does Killing Reagan have to do with killing or murder? Ronald Reagan died after a prolonged fight with Alzheimer’s disease; Not exactly “natural causes”, but nowhere near a murder. The authors subtitle; “the violent assault that changed a presidency” is their way to look into whether the assassination attempt affected President Reagan’s health…especially his mental health.
Before I read the book I saw a number of comments, many suggesting that this was a “hit piece” against the memory of Ronald Reagan. While not always complimentary and often chilling in detail, I didn’t share that sentiment. Long after he was shot and nearing the end of his presidency he uttered perhaps his most famous statement imploring Soviet Unions leader to “tear down this wall.” I was rather young and uninvolved when Reagan was president, but I remember the suggestion that he was of inferior intellect. As if his M.O. of surrounding himself with quality people and allowing them to do their jobs (AKA delegating) made him less intelligent. I’ve always considered the source of that criticism as folks trying to somehow diminish what he did. There are also those who deify Reagan as if he did no wrong.
I found this book interesting and the authors taught me a great deal about Reagan’s early years and his rise to become the most powerful man on Earth.
“Reagan does not really care what other people think. He confidently marches ahead, rarely showing any self-doubt.”
“There are many in the media who despise Ronald Reagan. Terms such as lightweight, B-movie actor, and even dangerous are sometimes used to denigrate him, both privately and in print. Ever since the failed Nixon administration, it has become commonplace in the media to disrespect Republican politicians.”