The Search for the Real Nancy Reagan

Frances Spatz Leighton, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $0 (406p) ISBN 978-0-02-570210-3
An epilogue to this biography recounting how Nancy Reagan spearheaded the movement to have chief-of-staff Donald Regan fired is an example of her uncompromising loyalty to her husband and of the considerable influence she has exerted throughout his career, according to Leighton, coauthor of Backstairs at the White House. A picture emerges of a fiercely jealous, possessive wife and mother whose perfectionism and conservatism alienated her children. Profoundly insecure as a result of her relationship with an autocratic stepfather, Nancy Reagan, maintains the author, escaped into acting before taking on the role of politician's wife. Her image during the early White House days as a cold, luxury-loving, superficial, self-centered woman has been successfully altered to a more positive one by a publicity campaign and her involvement in an anti-drug project, although, Leighton notes, she is still accused, perhaps rightly, of meddling in state affairs. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to National Inquirer. (June 2)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
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