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The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand Hardcover – October 5, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

William P. Clark served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of the Interior during Ronald Reagan's two terms as President, sharing an uncanny bond with the Gipper as well as his peculiar gift for succeeding at high office with few formal credentials and little prior experience. This uncritical look at Clark posits that his apparent simplicity, like Reagan's, belied a deep sagacity that proves how common sense and sound judgment trumps narrow intellectualism and left-wing sophistry. Author Kengor (God and Hillary Clinton) and historian Doerner make no secret of their admiration, crediting Clark for his unswerving loyalty to Reagan's vision of communism while other of his advisors fought against the hard-line approach to the Soviets, calling economic sanctions and the "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative ill-advised, and the Cold War unwinnable. These little-seen inter-administration struggles make up this volume's most informative and intriguing parts; otherwise, this career biography offers readers a sympathetic, largely anecdotal record of the Reagan White House.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Readers of this book will see that Bill Clark not only served Ronald Reagan as counsel, close advisor, and friend, but at times as a form of conscience. This is not only a great book about Bill Clark but a great book about my dad. No one who worked for Ronald Reagan knew him like Bill Clark, and that fact comes through in this book. I learned more about my dad in this biography than probably any other. The Judge is not only informative and eye-opening but a riveting read. I couldn't put it down --Michael Reagan, President Ronald Reagan's son

It's now more than time that Bill Clark get full recognition for all that he did with and for Ronald Reagan. He was one of the most influential people in Washington.... He was enormously important in the achievement of the President's goals and his success -- including during the governor years -- but that's generally not known today. --Casper "Cap" Weinberger, Former Secretary of Defense

With the coming of The Judge we now have the definitive Reagan-era biography ... Judge Clark was Ronald Reagan's only real friend and soul-mate. These two men operated on the same wavelength for thirty years....Best of all, the insights into key movements of Reagan history is unique. No one else had the access. This is the definitive history. Do not miss it; its a great read. --T. C. Reed, Former Air Force Secretary and author, At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (October 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586171836
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586171834
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By James A. Webb, Jr. on November 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A fine study of how one remarkable man added to the strength of another remarkable man guiding this country to a peaceful ending of the Cold War.

A very informative and rewarding reading experience -- somewhat like a good novel, you hate to have it end. Although this book is a biography of Judge Clark, it is extremely valuable in placing before the American public how and why Ronald Reagan was a successful President and led the United States to Victory in the Cold War.

The author's emphasis on Judge Clark's philosophy of "Let Reagan Be Reagan" is so important and in such contrast to other key advisors. Judge Clark's exemplary style of Leadership and Management contributed much to his function as Reagan's "top hand." Clark's humility, loving care and concern for those who worked for him, plus his family and friends, displays great character. The concern and dignity Secretary Clark paid his driver, Joe, is obvious by considering this driver his friend rather than "government chattel." Especially touching is the scene where Clark brought Joe before the President to show off his belt buckle. Joe had served another Secretary for three years who had never bothered to speak a word to him.

References to the "Divine Plan" for Judge Clark and President Reagan, along with their Faith and belief in God, exemplifies what is missing at the top in our government today, something we desperately need. Strengthened by his belief in God and his devout Catholic background, Clark was able to serve Reagan well in various critical and important assignments. Clark's wise judgments added immeasrably to the success of President Reagan.

Authors Kengor and Doerner are to be commended for bringing this valuable Biography and Presidential History to the attention of the American public. Job well done.

James A. Webb, Jr.
Major, USAF (Retired) and
Associate Professor of Business,
Louisiana Tech University (Retired)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Todd D. Hurlburt on January 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful look at one of America's unsung heroes. William Clark was indeed a patriot who went above and beyond the call of duty. As President Reagan's key advisor these two great men had a relationship unlike any other political figures in recent history. Almost telepathic in nature they were like brothers united like no other. Elemental in the ultimate "end game" in dismantling the Soviet Union piece by fractured piece to ensure the safety of America and preserve our freedom. It may not ever make the mainstream media's top ten list for obvious reasons and that is a shame. A must read for anyone who grew up during the Cold War.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By W. Massa on January 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I completed this informational biography in seven days during a stay at the Cleveland Clinic. Due to my conservatism and Roman Catholic background, the book held my interest throughout with its references to Bill Clark's faithful devotion to his President and his Pope. Especially enlightening were the passages revealing Al Haig's true personality and the secret meetings with the papal nuncio as the Berlin Wall was beginnning to crumble and the USSR bear beginning to stumble. I would recommend this book to those who are able to uncouple their politics, open their minds and enjoy a vivid look behind the one of the most difficult times of the 20th Century. Good job, Paul Kengor and co-author.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Anthony M. Marino on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book showed a different side to Ronald Reagan.One that many people may not have known about.But as always, it did show that Reagan had strong bedrock values and surrounded himself with knowledgable people.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Ryan on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Despite all the books written about Ronald Reagan, none reveal the insights into this President and man like this book about his closest friend and soulmate, William P. Clark, "The Judge". Besides learning some new, important and inspiring things about Reagan, we learn a lot about this most amazing, and truly unsung American hero, former National Security Adviser, William Clark. As the book jacket and others have already stated, the reason we are just finding this all now is because Clark seems to truly embody those rare virtues of humility and selflessness not often found in public figures, and he never wanted the light to be shone on him and his incredible accomplishments. He was truly a public servant who went to Washington to serve Reagan and his country, always with his eye on someday heading back west to his beloved ranch. Reagan knew Clark was this type of very honorable man, and thus trusted him completely, and that is why Clark became Reagan's confidante, top adviser and closest friend in those very critical years for our country, and the world.
Lets hope that those men who are now striving to win the Republican nomination for the next Presidential election and, hopefully, take up the mantle once again of the great Reagan, will read this book and truly learn from it what it means to embody those ideals and deep convictions that Reagan and Clark both held in tandem and lead our country with that same, much needed strong, fearless, and wise moral and just leadership like that of Ronald Reagan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Dixon on September 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book with high expectations. Many times that results in disappointment, but this time my expectations were met. I actually marvelled as I had a hard time putting this book down. I have very little time available for recreational reading, but I managed to fly through this book in about a week. It was . . . engaging. I don't want to reveal everything in it, but there are a few essential pieces that should pique your interest: First, the subject matter of this book gives you a great review of, and inside look at, foreign policy during President Reagan's first term. Second, you get an essential understanding of some of the key personality dynamics within the Reagan White House (during the first term). Third, you can see how the D.C. establishment will go all out in their attempts to destroy (Washington) outsiders. Hint: they did not succeed with the Judge. Finally, in this case, the Judge's personal integrity, and the trust it inspired, had an essential role in achieving what was thought to be unachievable. Because of the Judge's integrity, he was able to help the President, to an unprecidented extent. Along with that finding, you will quickly discover that the best thing about this book is the completely positive tone.
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