Peter Hannaford has had a long career in American politics and public affairs. He is a former Reagan adviser and current senior consultant to APCO Worldwide, a public affairs/strategic communications firm based in Washington DC. In Mr. Reagan s 1976 presidential nomination campaign, Mr. Hannaford was Director of Issues and Research; in the 1980 campaign, he was Senior Communications Advisor to Mr. Reagan. He also served as Assistant to the Governor and Director of Public Affairs for then-Governor Reagan in Sacramento. He is the author of eleven books and numerous articles, columns, and essays.
Author Peter Hannaford has had a distinguished career in American politics and public affairs. An original "Reaganaut," he was Governor Reagan's public affairs adviser in California, and ultimately came with President Reagan to Washington. Author of eight books about the Reagan years, no one is better qualified than Hannaford to write a clear, concise, and entertaining narrative about Ronald Reagan's formative years, and he does just that with his latest book: "Reagan's Roots." In the introduction, Hannaford writes that the reason for the book was a question he was asked after a talk at the Miller Center: "Can you tell us the source or sources of Ronald Reagan's character?" His answer was, "Yes. Illinois." He then wrote this book to illuminate the details of Ronald Reagan's youth in Illinois, and how those years formed his character. There are scenes with his parents, teachers, friends and sweethearts in northwestern Illinois, including his job as a lifeguard on a dangerous Rock River beach (he carved a notch on a log for each rescue -- seventy-seven!) There is a story about his first sportscaster radio job ($5 per game), a photo of him in a football uniform, and we learn that Reagan's poor eyesight kept him from the pro football career he coveted. Twelve more pages of photographs show Reagan in his cradle, his swimsuit, in the radio station, on his college stage, and on horseback jumping a fence (a useful talent for future cowboy movies). This book is not a flowery diary of Reagan's youth. It is a fascinating chronicle of the early years of a young man from a poor family in rural America during Depression years -- who became one of our greatest presidents. Chet Nagle The Woolsorter's Plague