The Making of the Great Communicator: Ronald Reagan's Transformation from Actor to Governor

Kenneth Holden. Globe Pequot/Lyons, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7627-7849-2
For three days in 1966, two behavioral psychologists met with actor Ronald Reagan in an attempt to prepare him for a gubernatorial campaign in California. Author, Holden, one of the two, recalls the pivotal event in Reagan's evolution from a less-than-fascinating actor into an-ever maturing politician. Holden includes the back story of all parties involved in the political makeover, and then the road to winning the governor's mansion in Sacramento. Convincing the candidate of the truth that politics is a "blood sport," and that he had been often "awash in his own erudition," the advisers fought to bring him up to speed with the assistance of their own company research. Reagan was well known for his humor and his general likeability, but the mission was to make him viable to the voters. The enmity between Reagan and the universities is revealed in breathtaking detail as he fought against what he considered incompetent management in higher education. Although Holden is perhaps overly ardent in his Republicanism and may even see the past through somewhat rose-colored glasses, the narrative is intriguing and rife with anecdotes about campaign management and additional famous politicos of the era. B&w photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-7627-9433-1
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