All Books

“An American Life” by President Ronald Reagan

In this remarkable autobiography, Ronald Reagan presents a definitive personal account of his historic presidency. With uncompromising candor, modesty, and wit, he tells the story of his life — public and private — and reveals the events that shaped his reluctant candidacy and the decision-making process that led to his first nomination; the unseen dangers of Gorbachev’s first visit to America; startling facts about top-secret meetings involving heads of state; his frustrations with Congress; and his relationships with the members of his Cabinet.

Here are the behind-the-scenes details of the great themes and dramatic crises marking Reagan’s eight years in office, from Lebanon to Grenada, from the struggle to achieve arms control to tax reform, and his unprecedented personal diplomacy with major foreign leaders. His narrative is full of new insights and often surprising revelations regarding his innermost feelings about life in the White House, the assassination attempt, his family — and the enduring love between him and his wife Nancy.

“An American Life” is an inspiring American success story, a brilliant self-portrait, and a compelling and significant work of history.

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“President Reagan” by Lou Cannon

Hailed by the New Yorker as “a superlative study of a president and his presidency,” Lou Cannon’s President Reagan remains the definitive account of our most significant presidency in the last fifty years. Ronald Wilson Reagan, the first actor to be elected president, turned in the performance of a lifetime. But that performance concealed the complexities of the man, baffling most who came in contact with him. Who was the man behind the makeup? Only Lou Cannon, who covered Reagan through his political career, can tell us. The keenest Reagan-watcher of them all, he has been the only author to reveal the nature of a man both shrewd and oblivious. Based on hundreds of interviews with the president, the First Lady, and hundreds of the administration’s major figures, President Reagan takes us behind the scenes of the Oval Office. Cannon leads us through all of Reagan’s roles, from the affable cowboy to the self-styled family man; from the politician who denounced big government to the president who created the largest peace-time deficit; from the statesman who reviled the Soviet government to the Great Communicator who helped end the cold war.

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“The Price of Terror” by Allan Gerson and Jerry Adler

When Libyan agents planted a bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103, killing 259 people in the air and I I on the ground, America did not strike back. Instead, the grieving relatives of the victims tried to force Libya to pay for its crime through the legal system. But lawyers told the families that they could never sue Libya–this would require changing a bedrock principle of international law, a change that every government in the world feared and would fight.

Working virtually alone at first, Allan Gerson, a former diplomat and prosecutor of Nazi war criminals, spent the next eight years on the families’ quest for Justice. In this high-stakes game of international power politics and legal maneuvering, there were friendships, jobs, and reputations lost, but a precious principle–that of accountability under the law — was strengthened and preserved.

Now Gerson and his coauthor, Newsweek writer Jerry Adler, follow the threads of this extraordinary tale back to that deadly night over Lockerbie, Scorland — and forward into a new era of international Justice, when terrorists will learn to fear the righteous retribution of their own victims.

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“Steal This Book” by Abbie Hoffman

A driving force behind the social revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, Hoffman inspired a generation to challenge the status quo. Meant as a practical guide for the aspiring hippie, Steal This Book captures Hoffman’s puckish tone and became a cult classic with over 200,000 copies sold. Outrageously illustrated by R. Crumb, it nevertheless conveys a serious message to all would-be revolutionaries: You don’t have to take it anymore. “All Power to the Imagination was his credo. Abbie was the best.” —Studs Terkel

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