Reagan: His Life and Legend

Project Expert

Max Boot
Max Boot

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies

About the Project

Son of the Midwest, movie star, and mesmerizing politician—America’s fortieth President comes to three-dimensional life in this gripping and profoundly revisionist biography. 

From best-selling biographer Max Boot comes this revelatory portrait, a decade in the making, of Ronald Reagan, the actor-turned-politician whose telegenic leadership ushered in a transformative conservative era in American politics. Despite his fame as a Hollywood star and television host, Reagan remained an enigma—a man of profound contradictions—even to those closest to him. Believing that this inscrutability contributed to his appeal, Boot sought to reveal the real man behind the mythology. Drawing on over a hundred new interviews and thousands of newly available documents, Reagan tells the epic story of the Depression-era poor boy who transfixed the nation. Yet Boot, a one-time Republican policy advisor, offers no apologia, depicting a man with a Manichean, good-vs.-evil worldview derived from his moralistic upbringing. Providing revelatory insights into “trickle-down economics,” the Cold War’s end, the Iran-Contra affair, and so much more, this definitive biography is as compelling a presidential biography as any in recent decades. 

“Max Boot’s masterwork brings to readers a penetrating portrait of Ronald Reagan, one of the most consequential presidents in American history. Here is the real Reagan, not the myth: pragmatic, dreamy, lucky and oblivious. Boot’s depiction is deeply reported, unflinching and persuasive. A must-read.” 

—David E. Hoffman, author of The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal and The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy

No publications were found for this project.