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Ronald Reagan in Private: A Memoir of My Years in the White House Hardcover – July 22, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Kuhn first met Reagan in 1975, when Kuhn was a 23-year-old Ohio farm kid who had voted for McGovern in 1972. Kuhn had been recruited to work for a Republican candidate during the 1974 primaries and made a "surprisingly easy" switch: "I found that I was attracted more to a particular candidate than to a particular ideology." Working the next year for Reagan, then governor of California, as a campaign "advance man" (prepping rally sites), Kuhn traveled with Reagan as he challenged Ford for the 1976 presidential nomination and returned for the successful 1980 campaign ("a spiritual and moral crusade to revive the heart of America"). After four years as a presidential appearance advance man (Kuhn was elsewhere during the assassination attempt), he became Reagan's executive assistant in 1984. Kuhn's admiring anecdotes about Reagan's interpersonal interactions form the heart of the book. Reagan's reactions to Reykjavik, Iran-Contra and myriad other '80s events are also here, and unfailingly admired by Kuhn. Light and light-filled, Kuhn's version of morning in America gives tender and specific recollections of its glossy surfaces, but not much more.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jim Kuhn served Ronald Reagan as an advance man, personal assistant, and finally, executive assistant, from 1976 until the President left the White House in 1989. Kuhn is now a Washington lobbyist.
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Mr.Kuhn was involved in those campaigns dating back to the 1970's.
The author covers Ronald Reagan's two terms in the White House very well.
He also details the President's travels and some of the political strategies that came into play with Gorbachev in particular.
If you are a Reagan fan this book is a great read.
I would recommend this book over Peter Wallison's book.Mr.Kuhn was around Ronald Reagan a lot longer and covers a longer time period.
James Kuhn worked as an advance man in Ohio during Reagan's failed attempt to gain the Republican nomination for president in 1976. He followed that up by serving as an advance man for Reagan throughout the nation as Reagan first won the nomination and then was elected president in 1980. During Reagan's first term, he worked in advance operations for the White House and later, during Reagan's second term, was the president's executive assistant. This brought him into close personal contact with the president on a daily basis. As Kuhn described it; he was "the one constant in a churning sea of faces, issues and policies."
In his unique position Kuhn was able to observe Ronald Reagan as he performed his duties as president of the United States without necessarily becoming part of the action. He was with Reagan constantly but not in a political capacity. Instead, he dealt with the president more on a personal level while traveling with him and being responsible for the details of his schedule, and his various trips and meetings. Over time, Kuhn was able to draw some interesting and insightful conclusions regarding Ronald Reagan's character, his personality, and his effectiveness as a leader and as the leader of the free world. And during Reagan's eight years in office, he was also able to observe the close and loving relationship between Nancy and Ronald Reagan up close and personal.
Jim Kuhn's memoirs, then, are especially valuable, for through them we can see Ronald Reagan as he really was and gain new insight into the people and events of his time in office.