What would Ronald Reagan think of the Republican Party today? That’s one of the questions H.W. Brands takes up in The Bookmonger’s 10-minute podcast about his newest book, Reagan: The Life.Unknown

Brands is a veteran biographer of presidents, already having written on Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and both Roosevelts. He discusses why he wanted to write this book next as well as how he handled the problem that has haunted so many biographers of the 40th president: The claim that nobody really knew the man. Brands also reveals whether he voted for Reagan in the 1980s–and whether it’s even possible for a historian who participated in one of those elections to write dispassionately on this subject now.

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  1. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    I think the man’s opinions about acting & Reagan are ridiculous. Psychologizing politicians requires that you be a master of psychology & this man makes no effort to show that he is that.

    Being a great politician requires that or something like it as well–it also requires an unusual ability as actor–& there is ample evidence that Reagan was that or had that ability. This guy does not seem to be capable to think that Reagan’s distance from friends–from everyone at times–was a requirement of his political activity rather than trauma from childhood.

    • #1
  2. Pete EE Member
    Pete EE
    @PeteEE

    I think the man’s opinions about acting & Reagan are ridiculous. Psychologizing politicians requires that you be a master of psychology & this man makes no effort to show that he is that.

    What’s that? Poorly thought out ideas smuggled in unter the guise of “conservative”? not a bad description of Conservatarian Manifesto, esoteric writing and Other School Reformers. I haven’t heard much of the bookmonger but it is beginning to look like a trend.

    I like the idea of brief book interviews and I like that the interviewer lets his guests speak their ideas so I’ll give it several more tries but it is now a matter of patience more than enthusiasm.

    • #2
  3. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Pete EE:

    I think the man’s opinions about acting & Reagan are ridiculous. Psychologizing politicians requires that you be a master of psychology & this man makes no effort to show that he is that.

    What’s that? Poorly thought out ideas smuggled in unter the guise of “conservative”? not a bad description of Conservatarian Manifesto, esoteric writing and Other School Reformers. I haven’t heard much of the bookmonger but it is beginning to look like a trend.

    I like the idea of brief book interviews and I like that the interviewer lets his guests speak their ideas so I’ll give it several more tries but it is now a matter of patience more than enthusiasm.

    I like the Bookmonger. I do not like too many of the authors, but it’s useful to know about them–like the conservatarian business, which annoys me as well. I’d rather know about it. I also think Mr. Miller is good at allowing authors to say what they think & that makes it easier to think about what’s right or what’s wrong there…

    • #3