Baier (Three Days in January), chief political anchor for Fox News, tenders a nostalgic account of the Reagan era and the end of the Cold War. Lauding the former president’s “iron-fisted, velvet-gloved approach” to U.S.–Soviet relations while de-emphasizing the more complex forces at play in the late 1980s, he portrays Ronald Reagan as a hero for whom turning “the evil empire” onto a path of democracy was a life mission. He recounts the Reagans’ first visit to Moscow in 1988 and the couple’s unscripted and nearly disastrous meet-the-people stroll, revels in Reagan’s anti-Communist one-liners, and asserts the president was “a far more complex human being than his critics gave him credit for.” Baier’s account of the tense arms negotiations and numerous summits that defined the era differs dramatically from other recent literature, in which Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is given the more pivotal role. Baier also attributes the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to a speech Reagan gave more than a year earlier. Readers who hold Reagan in high regard will likely appreciate Baier’s burnishing of the myths surrounding him, but those interested in a rigorous historical investigation will be disappointed. Agency: Folio Literary Management. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2018 Release date: 05/01/2018 Genre: Nonfiction
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