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Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency Hardcover – Print, September 22, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 4,046 customer reviews

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About the Author

Bill O'Reilly is the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor, the highest-rated cable news show in the country. He is the author of many number-one bestselling books, including Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Patton.

Martin Dugard is the New York Times bestselling author of several books of history. He and his wife live in Southern California with their three sons.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (September 22, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1627792414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1627792417
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,046 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark E. Quartullo on September 28, 2015
Format: Hardcover
As an “O’Reilly Factor” and “Killing…” books fan, I was looking forward to the latest entry of the series that has somewhat reignited a degree of historic interest among many in the “historically-challenged” US population. By spotlighting one of our greatest presidents – and written by a seemingly objective conservative pundit who I believed would ensure fair treatment – I assumed it would stand as a credible addition to the voluminous scholarship on President Reagan.

As difficult as this is to write, I can only say that I was wrong. To my surprise and disappointment, it is perhaps the most factually distorted, negatively skewed, and misleading portrayal I have read on one of our greatest and most influential presidents.

Like the previous books in the series, “Killing Reagan” is succinct and pointed in its assertions, with a rigorous pacing that brings it in at approximately 289 pages. Yet, despite its efficient prose, the book fails in the following areas: 1) Several factual inaccuracies (either by omission of key caveats or the appropriate context); b) “Tabloid-fodder” assertions or rumors ill-sourced or assumed (but not proven) to be true; c) Selection of numerous events designed to reflect negatively on Reagan; d) Unproven negative and arbitrary opinions of Reagan and his capabilities are littered throughout.

For example, I spotted over 30 factual errors, debatable points, or suspiciously sourced “tabloid-like” assertions that immediately undercut the book’s credibility. In addition, there were several anecdotes cited that required caveat or “the full story,” which is something O’Reilly prides himself as always providing but fails to do here.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is certainly the worst of O'Reilly's increasingly disappoint "Killing" series. First of all, Reagan didn't die. Secondly, this badly written book must have been ghost written. It is poorly done. Third, as is happening more and more with the "Killing" books, it is all back story. Most of the early part of the book is devoted to biographies of other folks like Nixon and Ford. Too much time is spent on Reagan's not very exciting acting career. You are more than 2/3rds of the way through the book before Reagan is even elected president. It portrays Reagan's entire life in a negative light. This is a weak book by an increasingly weak author(or a poor ghostwriter).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How does one begin to respond to this vapid attempt at exploitation? As a regular reader of biographies, the rest of O'Reilly's "Killing" series included, I was dumbfounded when I opened the book and began to read. It is clearly the voice of an author lost in his own self-importance and inflated ego. I would spend time detailing the faults of this so-called history, but virtually all Reagan scholars have readily denounced the work as a rehash of inuendo laden books and articles seeking to undermine Reagan's contribution to the country. After watching O'Reilly's unbelievably ignorant and insulting debate with George Will the other night, I couldn't help but take the time to agree publically with Will's assessment of the book. That O'Reilly would call George Will, a pulitzer price winning commentator, a "hack," is remarkable. With all due respect to what Bill O'Reilly has accomplished on his show, he is an intellectual lightweight next to the intellect of George Will. No spin here.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of the O'Reilly Factor show, so I am not writing this not so good review with any bias against Bill O'Reilly. However, Bill O'Reilly tends to be a bit disappointing. I have in the past fallen prey to a book or two of his that was simply a reprint of interviews I had seen on the Factor.

The Pro's of the Book: It is written in a style that makes it a quick and fairly entertaining read. Even though I have a pretty in depth history background, I am not one of these people that has problems with popular history. There is absolutely nothing wrong with popular history, and if it were not for popular history like Walter Lord or Bruce Catton, I would never have become so interested in history. So, if I was someone who knew little about Reagan or just wanted a beach read, this book is ok in that respect. Also, it was very interesting when it did go into some detail on John Hinckley JR, there I read stuff I had not read previously. Unfortunately the book surprisingly went into not much detain on Hinckley or the actually assassination.

Unfortunately, this book had many con's for me. First off, for a fairly conservative commentator on what was once a conservative network, I was surprised at how anti-Reagan this book came off to me. This book portrayed Reagan as suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease much earlier than more scholarly and more recent works have. Also, the book was very gossipy, with a lot of time spent on alleged affairs and relationships of Reagan, again stuff that I had not read or seen in any recent and more scholarly in depth studies of Reagan. The book dwelled well too much on this type of stuff, which would have been more appropriate in a book on Clinton, LBJ or JFK.
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