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

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a very interesting autobiography of the life of young Michael Reagan. He is very frank about his mother, Jane Wyman, and his father, Ronald Reagan, and his stepmother, Nancy Reagan. His struggles with his child abuse by a coach and how he finally overcame these struggles are an inspiration to others fighting the same battles. I recommend everyone read this book to understand how childhood sexual abuse affects the child, possibly for life if help is not received.
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Format: Hardcover
I found ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, the autobiography of Michael Reagan (son of actress Jane Wyman and former U.S. president Ronald Reagan), hard to put down. I finished reading it in just a few days and wished the presidency of the author's father had come and gone as quickly.

Michael Reagan's dead honesty regarding his personal tragedies will compel you to keep turning the pages of ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN. One would think being the son of a famous movie actress and, later in life, having your father elected governor of California and then president of the United States guarantees life on Easy Street. But as Michael Reagan discloses, no matter how good something like that looks, the reality can differ so greatly that you will ask yourself, "Why me?"

The only ON THE OUTSIDE . . . passages with scissor marks pertain to Ronald and Nancy Reagan. For instance, Michael Reagan mentions an incident where it was "the only time I saw my father and Nancy argue" but discloses no details. At least Michael Reagan admits showing his father and Mrs. Reagan a pre-publication draft of the book, even if he does not flat-out say he cut any text to please them.

But ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN merits five stars nonetheless. Michael Reagan shows a ton of courage telling his story. I hope I can shake his hand some day.
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