From Publishers Weekly
During his year as White House counsel, Wallison was able to witness President Reagan up close-as a man who defied the textbook model of a "great president." Unlike any other president to date, says Wallison, Reagan came to office with a firm and unique philosophy of government. While many accuse Reagan of ignorance and lack of interest, Wallison shows that the president was a man of ideas and conviction. When it came to his core beliefs-small federal government, tax cuts and a formidable defense policy-Reagan was unbending. When even his own staff members rallied against him, begging him to relent, Reagan shook his head and spoke of "staying the course." Wallison also defends Reagan's managerial style, in which he focused on his main agenda and delegated all other policy decisions to his staff. This, too, was due not to "cognitive limitations" but to a determination to focus on achieving several key principles. To his credit, Wallison is not blind to Reagan's faults, noting that the very qualities that allowed for his many successes also permitted the devastation wrought by the Iran-Contra affair. The author's recollection of the scandal is detailed and honest. Despite the personal nature of his book, Wallison's portrayal of Reagan is balanced and clear: he gives us a man who is fundamentally human, who made mistakes and yet achieved great things. 10 b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Mr. Wallison is a superb writer with a knack of making White House policy and power struggles as gripping as the best who-done-it."
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