- Hardcover: 752 pages
- Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st edition (October 15, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933859555
- ISBN-13: 978-1933859552
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 59 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#771,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #899 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Elections
- #993 in Books > Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > Political Ideologies
- #1209 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > United States > Executive Branch
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Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America 1st Edition
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"An unbelievable book . . . I was part of the Reagan Revolution and I
didn't know 80 percent of this stuff! . . . It's worth reading, and
reading right now."
—Mark Levin, bestselling author of Liberty and Tyranny
"Anyone who would understand the Reagan victory of 1980 and the
movement that eliminated the Soviet Union and revitalized America must
read—indeed must study—Craig Shirley's brilliant, comprehensive work."
"Shirley has done extensive interviewing and research for Rendezvous
with Destiny, and it's a terrific read—for political junkies of all
"This exhilarating history . . . arrives, serendipitously, at a moment
when conservatives are much in need of an inspiriting examination of
their finest hour."
—George F. Will, from the Foreword
"This story has been told before by journalists and historians,
including myself, but Shirley's account brings an inside dimension to
the campaign's travails. 'Rendezvous with Destiny' is prodigiously
researched and well noted. When future historians re—examine the 1980
campaign, one of their first stops is likely to be 'Rendezvous With
"This is consequential history at every step. . . a first—rate work of
insider history. The book reads like Bob Woodward at his very best: a
probing, insightful, behind—the—scenes examination of events that had
profound implications for the trajectory of American politics. Shirley
has accomplished a great feat of scholarship and research, and it could
not have come at a better time. The current political climate is highly
reminiscent of that of the late 1970s. These historical similarities add
special value to Shirley's work. It is an important, timely book that
conservatives, Reagan admirers, and students of electoral politics will
cherish and enjoy for years. Credit is due to Shirley for a monumental
"...New book Rendezvous with Destiny, which I am almost finished with. .
. .What a hell of a good book!"
—Larry Kudlow, CNBC
"There have been hundreds of books written about Ronald Reagan and this
is the question that always irritates an author, why do we need another
one? Well, we don't have to get very far in Craig Shirley's new book
about Reagan to know that, yes, there is still a lot we didn't know
about Reagan and how he came to the White House. . . . It is a
—Bob Schieffer, CBS
"Author's tale of that multi—month campaign. . . has a you—are—there
quality. His intention is to provide the reader with a definitive
history of the 1980 campaign, and he succeeds almost too well. Lest your
head spin by the details of ever—shifting polls, maneuvers, and news
coverage of every step in every primary election campaign—keep going,
for the reward will be a clear understanding of how Ronald Reagan's
appeal to 'Main Street' Americans, including many blue—collar Democrats,
coincided with his own determination to win."
"It is an exhaustive study that will be at the very core of the Reagan
bibliography for future generations, and will not anytime soon—if
"As conservatives continue to try to reinvent themselves in the image of
RR, it is helpful to have at our disposal this meticulously researched
tome detailing how 'The Great Communicator' overcame the Republican
establishment to oust an incumbent president —— and ultimately, to
change the world."
"I believe "Rendezvous" is a compellingly written, thoroughly
documented treatise that is essential reading for anybody who seeks to
understand what happened and why on Reagan's third try for the White
House. . . ."Rendezvous" is a chronicle, not an investigation, and ought
to be judged as such. And a wonderfully detailed chronicle it is."
—Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner
"It's well—written, filled with information, and a pleasure to read.
Anyone interested in how Reagan defeated several well—respected
Republican contenders after blowing the Iowa caucuses, and then knocked
off the incumbent Democrat, will enjoy the book."
"Best. Reagan. Book. Evah!"
—Robert Stacy McCain
"A scandal that once looked like it could take down a president, but
soon fizzled for lack of hard evidence, gets a closer look in a new
book, Rendezvous with Destiny. . . . Shirley's new book sheds new light
on the scandal. . . . The web of evidence Shirley weaves all leads to
—Chuck Todd, MSNBC
"'Rendezvous with Destiny' offers a series of important practical
lessons on how to run a presidential campaign, including coherent
ideology and strategic nimbleness when circumstances change. Whether the
reader is a Reagan fan or not, that takeaway alone makes Craig Shirley's
book a top political read."
—David Mark, Politico
"A superb insider's account . . . Full of anecdotes that have never
been published before."
"Conservatives will love this book, and political junkies of all
stripes will find it fascinating. Readers looking for high drama will
eagerly absorb its more than 600 pages. . . . It is the
behind—the—scenes drama that lends real suspense to the narrative."
"Craig Shirley has done a masterful job. . . Shirley's books will be
the definitive works on both Reagan elections. It will be impossible to
top his extensive journalistic research and, especially, his 150
interviews with and access to all of the movers and shakers of the
"Craig Shirley's new book on Reagan has a powerful message: we combined
conservatives, libertarians, and independents, all inside a big
Republican tent before ——and we can do it again. It's is an illuminating
look back at the watershed 1980 election. For those more interested in
the politics of today, Shirley's book has much to offer."
"A much broader look at the campaign that elected Reagan . . . Shirley
has gathered a wealth of evidence."
"The book covers every aspect of the 1980 campaign: from Reagan's
comeback after losing the Iowa caucuses to the behind—the—scenes staff
battles and the mystery of who stole President Jimmy Carter's debate
"The genius of Shirley's work is to take stories we already know about,
and fill in the details that take you, the reader, right into the room
with the principals."
"Shirley's book is well—researched and well—written, and it gives
insight into Reagan's journey to the Oval Office. The opening lines of
the prologue are sure to bring tears to many a conservative's eye, as
Shirley sets the scene at the 1980 GOP convention in Detroit as Reagan
accepts the party's nomination for president."
"Shirley's book is less of a paean to the Hollywood B—bit—actor—turned
politico's looming presidency as it is a gritty, behind—the—scenes
account of the Reagan Revolution. Shirley goes easy on the froth,
digging deep over 37 chapters, which includes the fateful events of the
Republican presidential debate held at Nashua High School on Feb. 23,
"Shirley puts to rest one of the great political mysteries: who stole
Carter's debate briefing books? . . . Shirley also reveals that the
Kennedy family had a long memory on Election Day. . . .when it came time
for the election, virtually all of them voted for Ronald Reagan."
"A new book by Craig Shirley tells the exhilarating story of how Reagan
triumphed and made us believe it was morning in America again."
"Provides the first inside look at the historic 1980 election . . .
Shirley shows how close Reagan's campaign came to collapsing in the
Republican primaries—and how the candidate turned things around."
—National Review Online
About the Author
Craig Shirley is the author of the critically acclaimed bestseller Reagan’s Revolution,the first book detailing Reagan’s pivotal 1976 challenge to President Gerald Ford in the Republican primaries. Shirley is also president of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, an influential government relations and marketing firm. He has written for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Weekly Standard, among other publications, and in 2005 he was recognized as the outstanding alumnus of Springfield College. Shirley and his wife, Zorine, divide their time between their homes in Alexandria, Virginia, and “Trickle Down Point” on the Rappahannock River in Lancaster, Virginia.
Top customer reviews
Shirley outlines the social and economic conditions at the end of the 1970s that led to Reagan's election, and gives details on Reagan's activities in the years leading up to the 1980 nomination fight.
The descriptions of the long nomination fights for both parties are excellent. The author provides inside information on some of the conflicts among the Reagan staffers, recounts the famous "I am paying for this microphone" Nashua debate, and remembers the times when it looked as though Ronald Reagan's campaign and political career were over. Many do not know or remember that Gerald Ford gave serious thought to running in 1980--Shirley recalls the points in the campaign at which the former president was tempted to jump in.
The Reagan-Ford "Dream Ticket" saga, the Reagan acceptance speech, and the selection of George Bush as the vice-presidential nominee at the Detroit convention are thoroughly covered.
Even though the election ended in a landslide, the fall campaign of 1980 was one of the most suspenseful of all time, as the race looked close right up until Election Day. The author chronicles the ups and downs for both Carter and Reagan, including the all-important Cleveland debate, and even solves the mystery of the missing Carter debate briefing books.
Those of us old enough to remember Election Day 1980 will have their memories jogged by Shirley's look back at the networks' coverage of the election. My parents were going to allow me, a ten-year-old Reagan supporter, to stay up as late as necessary to see the outcome, but, as the book remembers, the result was settled VERY early (and I didn't get to stay up nearly as late as I thought I might get to stay up).
The foreword by George Will and the epilogue examining the Gipper's place in history round out this volume that would be enjoyed by all conservative political junkies.
Shirley also addressed the mystery of how Carter's debate books wound up over at Reagan's headquarters. He makes a compelling case of the person behind it and the motivations. The only complaint I would have about his chapter on the debate materials is that he places it right after the section on the conventions. I personally think if maybe he had put that chapter later in the book, with the chapter about the debate would have fit better. He also rightfully makes the point that what was in Carter's debate prep materials wasn't all that secret since it really seemed to be research into Reagan's public utterances and actions.
This is a very good read of the United States' political history. If you have any interest in the subject, I would recommend this book to you.
So many myths surround Reagan and the people around him. This book clears a lot of confusion. Obviously the author is a fan, but he presents all points of view, sometimes even being critical of Reagan.
If there is one critique, the book is a little more opinionated than the 76 book. For instance, I watched the Reagan-bush debate in Texas and I don't agree with the author that Reagan lost. Also, there is an entire chapter dedicated to Paul Corbin. Really boring and completely unnecessary. All in all, still a must read.
This is a thoroughly researched book, with a 32% of the contents dedicated to notes, bibliography, and acknowledgments. Rendezvous with Destiny offers a blow by blow narrative of the 1980 presidential campaign. And there were some roundhouse slugfests to be sure.
Although told more from of a Reagan perspective, Shirley tries to describe the ups and downs, successes and failures of Reagan’s and Carter’s campaigns with the disinterest of an impartial observer. Perhaps Rendezvous with Destiny would have been a better read if Shirley had allowed his inner-Reagonite to cut loose a bit more. The book’s major failing is that it does not present new or deeper insights into Reagan’s character. For example: the reader does not learn how much the candidate interjected himself at key moments in the campaign. I suspect much more than Shirley was able to document with authoritative citations. Here and there, properly noted guesswork and opinion would have raised the drama of the story closer to how it was felt by the participants.
Most recent customer reviews
In my opinion, this is the best biography.
If you love Reagan, read this book.