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Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography Hardcover – September 4, 2007

3.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ronald Reagan was a controversial president, no question. Revered by some, reviled by others, he was acknowledged to be an orator of the highest order. This graphic biography sets out to explore Reagan's life, but the creative team seems unsure which side they're on, so they veer between gauzy hagiography and hard-fact criticism without ever offering a coherent thesis about Reagan's appeal or legacy. Helfer (Batman: Journey into Night) is strongest when he lets Reagan speak for himself (the dialogue on the page when Reagan is shot is particularly effective). Buccellato (Battle of the Bands) and Staton (Green Lantern) provide interesting graphics—showing the rapid successive deaths of the hardliners who preceded Gorbachev as a series of X-ed out portraits, or unraveling the complicated self-dealing behind Reagan's GE Theater job with a cleverly modified organization chart. Overall, the cartoony art fits Reagan's aw-shucks persona, but undercuts Helfer's discussion of Reagan-era scandals. Helfer also crowds more powerful images (like the Challenger explosion) with wordy caption boxes. This book makes an adequate primer of the Reagan era, but the lack of coherence limits its appeal. There are too many jabs for Reagan's disciples, and not enough bite for his critics. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–The facts of Reagan's life and times are entertainingly presented. Illustrated in a breezy, Mad Magazine style, this slyly witty book can be enjoyed both by detractors, who could read it as a tongue-in-cheek work, and by staunch admirers of the late ex-president. Sharing some of the clever-but-realistic illustrations (Fawn Hall, Oliver North's secretary, has a hairdo that fills each panel she's in to bursting) or reading parts aloud is irresistible enough that there's potential here for viral handselling.–Dana Cobern-Kullman, Luther Burbank Middle School, Burbank, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; 1st edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809095076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809095070
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,701,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nyghtewynd VINE VOICE on January 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Graphic nonfiction novels are not easy to review because they exist on two planes: they are both art and information at one time. But they must generally considered to be more nonfiction than art. If the content isn't any good, it's hard to enjoy the art. This book has that problem The art is very, very good...cartoony while still doing a good job at resembling the actual people and events. However, the content is biased at best and inaccurate at worst. If this were the only thing you knew about Reagan, you would be forced to assume (as the authors do) that the country believes nothing true about Reagan, and that the mass of them were simply deluded about the way things work in the world. If you do, that's fine, but it's not the truth. The authors here give Reagan no credit for anything and assign all of his successes to either deceit, luck, or pure stupidity. So, in the end, great art + wildly biased factual information = below-average book. If you know enough to separate fact from opinion, you'll like it. If this is the only book you care to read on Reagan's legacy, don't bother.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like the book but I only got it because I had to for a class I'm taking at school.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Why did I give this 2 stars? 1 and half stars are for the artwork and the remaining half star is for the content that happens to be unadulterated tripe.

Anybody who reads this book comes back with the impression that Regan became what he became because he could connect with his audience even though he didn't have a clue as to what he was talking about. They would think he was low on facts, high on rhetoric, a puppet put up by the right wingers only because he had a likable face. And they would think Jimmy Carter lost not because of his mistakes, but because Regan was able to fool an entire nation with his performance.

I can go on and on but I will just say that Andrew Helfer should stick to fiction where he can write his one-sided history as he pleases.

I wasted some good money purchasing this book. I will probably sell it to a Democrat. :-)
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