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Michael Reagan: On the Outside Looking in Hardcover – April 1, 1988


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra; First Edition edition (April 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821723928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821723920
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,978,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
This book is very interesting.
Robert Kaetzel
Michael Reagan with brutal honesty, and a whole lot guts, tells the gutwrenching but inspiring story of his much traveled life.
Mark Dauer (mjd3702@aol.com)
Thank-you and this definitely WAS NOT a "Mommy Dearest" book (yes, I have read that book - years ago!).
Patricia H. Fabricius

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Mark Dauer (mjd3702@aol.com) on October 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Michael Reagan with brutal honesty, and a whole lot guts, tells the gutwrenching but inspiring story of his much traveled life. From living a childhood that included such traumatic experiences as: being ridiculed for being adopted, being brutally molested by a camp councellor, having his parents divorce,and being constantly switched to different boarding schools,Michael grew up feeling very low about himself, and contemplated suicide on several occasions. His young adulthood was marred by consusion and self destructive behavior. While in his twenties Michael racked up staggering debt, had a failed marriage, and was dogged by a failure to hold down a steady job. While the young Michael was not extemly proud of his irresponsible lifestyle he had no great desire to reform himself because his parents, namely his mother, would always bail him out. It was in meeting his current wife Colleen that Michael experienced the turning point of his life. Colleen quickly let it be known that Michael's lifestyle was unaccaptable, and would have to be ended if they were to be together. This was to be Michael's ephinany, and it started the turnaround that allowed him to exorcise the deamons of his past, live a blessed, and honest life, and fully reconcile with his father. This book is sure to be an inspiration to anyone who has lived a trying life, and will provide valuable lessons to anyone who feels as though they are alone and that their life is spinning out of control.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marvin D. Pipher on October 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My impressions of this book may seem somewhat surprising. I bought it primarily to find out why Michael Reagan was so distant from his father and so detached from the broader Reagan family, and yet seems to be the embodiment of Ronald Reagan's political philosophy. What I got, instead, was a more important story and much more than that. I came to see this not so much as the story of Michael Reagan, but more as the classic example of a truly dysfunctional family. To me, it became the story of love and affection gone wrong. It was populated with family members who obviously cared about each other but seldom saw things the same way. The players always seemed to talk past each other and, no matter what they tried; they continually worked at cross purposes. I couldn't help but wonder: how many other American families act in just this same way and how many adopted children shared Michael's fears and feelings? This book isn't just about Michael Reagan. It is about life in America and the inner workings of a classically dysfunctional family.

Caught between two families, the Reagans and Jane Wyman, but feeling that he doesn't belong to either one, Michael Reagan takes the reader through a gut wrenching childhood of presumed privilege which often works against him and which is filled with thoughts of loneliness, unworthiness, and the constant fear of not being wanted; all as seen through the eyes of a child. One can only wonder how many other adopted children have shared these feelings. Then, even when he begins to feel that he might belong and that he is really wanted, he is once again put down. Brought home from boarding school and expecting his own room he is instead made to sleep on the couch so a servant can have a room of her own.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kaetzel on June 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is very interesting. I had a hard time putting it dow. The book covers Michael Reagan's life and the personal obstacles he has overcome. The book is centered around Michael's belief that his parents never really loved him because he is adopted. Michael has sure had his share of ups and downs in life from being molested as a child and having to tell Ronald and Nancy Reagan about it years after the fact. (The Gipper wanted to go after the guy) to Michael finally growing up and discovering an identity of his own. This book will definitely give you an insiders view in to the Reagan's family life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patricia H. Fabricius on December 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I hope one day Michael Reagan takes time to read these reviews, as I know this book has been out for a long time and this 60 year old grandmother has just disovered it. Thank-you and this definitely WAS NOT a "Mommy Dearest" book (yes, I have read that book - years ago!). Michael Reagan is a gentleman in every sense of the word as he sensitively shares what it was like and is like being the son, and the first son no less, of such famous parents ... not to mention a famous stepmother. This is a MUST READ not just for anyone interested in the Reagan Era, but for Michael's ability to stir up personal emotions and past recollections in the reader giving them food for thought regarding their own life. My gut feeling is that deep down Nancy adored Michael, but her loyalty to her own birth children, at times got in the way. A picture says more than 1,000 words and this book as well as others I have read show the sparkle in that father's eyes when he looks at Michael. Do not pass on reading this book.
I stayed up nights after work reading it and am glad I did.
P.S. - Jane Wyman had to wrestle with her own insecurities...but that is another story... Jane Wyman, Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan were blessed to have Michael as their son and stepson. I bet they all knew that, too!
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