- Paperback: 752 pages
- Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 2 edition (January 5, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1935191934
- ISBN-13: 978-1935191933
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 60 customer reviews
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Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America Paperback – January 5, 2011
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“A first-rate work of insider history. His book reads like Bob Woodward at his very best. . . . Shirley has accomplished a great feat of scholarship and research, and it could not have come at a better time . . . A monumental accomplishment.” ―National Review
“Shirley has proven himself a master of presidential campaign histories―a true heir to Theodore White. . . . An exhaustive study that . . . will not anytime soon―if ever―be surpassed.” ―American Spectator
“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, radio host, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“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.” ―Newt Gingrich
“A superb insider’s account . . . Full of anecdotes that have never been published before.” ―Houston Chronicle
“Shirley has done extensive interviewing and research for Rendezvous with Destiny, and it’s a terrific read―for political junkies of all ideological stripes.” ―Michael Barone, Washington Examiner
“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.” ―Washington Times
“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
“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 one man.” ―MSNBC.com
“A much broader look at the campaign that elected Reagan . . . Shirley has gathered a wealth of evidence.” ―Politico
“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
“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.” ―CQ Politics
“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.” ―NewsMax
“Wonderfully researched and a treasure trove of information . . . It is incredibly moving too. . . . There are numerous new books about Ronald Reagan, and while many don't offer a lot of new information, this one does.” ―Acton Institute
“Prodigiously researched and well noted . . . Engaging and revealing . . . When future historians re-examine the 1980 campaign, one of their first stops is likely to be Rendezvous with Destiny.” ―Lou Cannon, Daily Caller
“What a hell of a good book!” ―Larry Kudlow, CNBC
“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. . . . A fascinating book!” ―Bob Schieffer, CBS
“Has a you-are-there quality. [Shirley’s] intention is to provide the reader with a definitive history of the 1980 campaign, and he succeeds. . . . A trove of colorful, dramatic tales. . . . Shirley gives us a lively ride on the electoral roller coaster.” ―Weekly Standard
“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.” ―Politics Daily
“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.” ―Washington Examiner
“Well-written, filled with information, and a pleasure to read.” ―Doug Bandow
“Best. Reagan. Book. Evah!” ―Robert Stacy McCain
“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
“Masterful . . . Shirley’s books will be the definitive works on both Reagan elections.” ―Human Events
“Enthralling . . . This book is full of true words, deep insights, long memories, and occluded details. . . . Shirley summons [the 1980 campaign] back to throbbing, vivid and immediate life.” ―David Frum
“Offers more than a few pointers on what conservatives and Republicans should do in the future. And on top of that, it’s an illuminating look back at the watershed 1980 election.” ―FOXNews.com
“A new book by Craig Shirley tells the exhilarating story of how Reagan triumphed and made us believe it was morning in America again.” ―Eagle Forum
“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 briefing books.” ―The Hill
“Well-researched and well-written, and it gives insight into Reagan’s journey to the Oval Office.” ―Roll Call
About the Author
Craig Shirley is the author of the New York Times bestseller December 1941 and the critically acclaimed Reagans Revolution, the first book detailing Reagans 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. A much-sought-after political adviser and commentator, Shirley has written for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Weekly Standard, among other publications.
George F. Will is a Pulitzer Prize?winning columnist for the Washington Post and the bestselling author of One Mans America.
Newt Gingrich is the former Speaker of the House and the bestselling author of Real Change and Winning the Future.
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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.
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.