The Long Goodbye
Ronald Reagan was beloved by many, and criticized by a few. This book sets out to explore the time after he left the White House, the last years of the President’s life. It is a broad work that covers much of what was going on in our nation, and the world, during those years, along with the health issues he faced.
The author spent a lot of time going over the private journals Ronald Reagan kept while in office. Mr. Shirley states that all the entries were made by a man still in full control of all his faculties. He offers them as proof that the President was not suffering any forgetfulness, or early Alzheimer’s symptoms, while leading our country.
Many in the media didn’t support Reagan, and even panned him, but that was something that did not concern him. What he wanted was the support of the ordinary citizens. His legacy consisted of ending the cold war, improving our military, increasing prosperity, and making many feel proud to be Americans. With many every day Americans, his legacy also included winning their hearts.
That was never so apparent as when he passed away. Even though the President had been out of the public eye for a good ten years, tremendous crowds turned out to view his body at his California library. Many waited hours in horrible heat to pay their respects. The viewing hours had to be extended, and still large crowds were turned away. Others had lined the highway for the miles leading from the Reagan home to the library. The numbers were even bigger when his body was brought to Washington, D.C. for viewing, and for the funeral. People from every walk of life stood in line for hours to pay their last respects. The crowd was staggering.
Apparently the media was caught off guard by all this. Originally, his death was not given much coverage, and what there was, a lot was critical. After the outpouring of public grief, some less hostile things started appearing along with more coverage. Many tributes also came pouring in from other nations. Soviet dissident and writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, upon learning of Reagan’s death had this to say:
“In July 1975, I concluded my remarks in the Reception Room of the U.S. Senate with these words: ‘Very soon, all too soon, your government will need not just extraordinary men–but men of greatness. Find them in your souls. Find them in your hearts. Find them within the breadth and depth of your homeland.’ Five years later, I was overjoyed when just such a man came to the White House. May the soft earth be a cushion to his present rest.”
While reading this book, you might find your mind wandering back to the days Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Some of the stories and scenes found on these pages might even bring a tear or two. I highly recommend this 5-star book to any fan of Ronald Reagan, or those interested in history.
“And whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts.”–Ronald Reagan at the last Republican convention he addressed, Houston, 1992.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of Last Act, through The Thomas Nelson Publishing BookLook Bloggers Program for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Author’s Website: http://www.craigshirley.com/
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/CraigSBPA
Author’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Craig-Shirley-193602397333265/