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The Essential Ronald Reagan

A Profile in Courage, Justice, and Wisdom

Lee Edwards

The Essential Ronald Reagan recounts—in a concise way—the extraordinary life and career of a great American president from his small-town Midwestern roots through his Hollywood film star days to his presidential role as redeemer of the American dream and victorious leader in the Cold War.

Renowned historian Lee Edwards captures Ronald Reagan perfectly and concisely. Edwards shows how Reaganomics confounded the Keynesian "experts" and produced the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in U.S. history. he details how President Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot—and reveals his "secret weapon" in summit negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Calling upon his four decades of observing and analyzing Ronald Reagan, Edwards provides many intimate details about the last president—such as the five books that helped transform Reagan from a liberal Democrat into a conservative Republican and how the attempted assassination strengthened Reagan's deeply rooted faith. Edwards, who has taught politics at the Catholic University of America for nearly two decades, borrows from his classroom experience to grade the best and worst books about Ronald Reagan.

Fifteen years after leaving the White House, Ronald Reagan is already ranked among our greatest presidents by the American people and an increasing number of historians and political scientists. In The Essential Ronald Reagan, Edwards analyzes the four essential qualities of leadership that enabled President Reagan to meet every challenge and crisis and to make him an American "for the ages."
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 208Size: 6 3/4 x 9 3/8
978-0-7425-4375-1 • Hardback • November 2004 • $21.95 • (£14.95)
Dr. Lee Edwards is the Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at The Heritage Foundation.

A prolific writer, Lee Edwards' essays have appeared in Reader's Digest, National Review and such leading newspapers as the The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Detroit News, and The Washington Times. His fifteen books range from Ronald Reagan: A Political Biography, written in 1967 to Educating for Liberty: The First Half Century of ISI, written in 2003, and include Missionary for Freedom: The Life and Times of Walter Judd, Goldwater: The Man Who Made a Revolution and The Conservative Revolution: The Movement that Remade America.

Educated at Duke University, the Sorbonne (Paris) and the Catholic University of America, Dr. Edwards was a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and is now an Adjunct Professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America. He was founding director of the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University, is past president of The Philadelphia Society and is Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Dr. Edwards and his wife Anne reside in Alexandria, Virginia.
Part 1 Preface
Part 2 Introduction: A Time for Testing
Chapter 3 From the Heartland
Chapter 4 Going Hollywood
Chapter 5 Communism and Capitalism
Chapter 6 In the Ring at Last
Chapter 7 The Biggest Role of All
Chapter 8 Golden Years
Chapter 9 The Reagan Doctrine
Chapter 10 Never Again
Part 11 Bibliographic Essay
Part 12 Notes
Part 13 Index
Part 14 Acknowledgments
Part 15 About the Author
Offers the first comprehensive political portrait of the man.

As Edwards rightly notes, Reagan is an 'American for the ages.'
Loredana Vuoto; The Weekly Standard

Ronald Reagan stands as the most consequential president of the second half of the 20th century. In The Essential Ronald Reagan, Lee Edwards tells the Reagan story as a leading scholar of American conservatism and a gifted writer can.
Michael Barone, senior writer, U.S. News & World Report

The Essential Ronald Reagan is a masterful political biography of a great American president.
Edwin Meese III, Presidential Counselor, 1981-1985, U.S. Attorney General 1985-1988

I'm often asked to recommend a short biography of Ronald Reagan, one that concisely strikes at the core of the man, his ideas, and what he did. The Essential Ronald Reagan is the book that I will now recommend. Lee Edwards has produced a well-written, well-researched, balanced, engaging, and insightful biography of Ronald Reagan.
Paul Kengor, Ph.D., author of God and Ronald Reagan and professor at Grove City College

Lee Edwards, who wrote the first biography of Ronald Reagan in 1967, has now written the revised edition—incorporating the stunning accomplishments of Reagan as Governor of California and President of the U.S. This is the essential biography of one of our greatest presidents.
Martin Anderson, Keith and Jan Hurlbut Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

...a masterpiece of compression; strongly recommended as a first book to read on Reagan.
Mike Poterma; National Review

...this book reveals a man whose amiable facade guarded a more thoughtful and knowledgeable interior.
Publishers Weekly

This book is not just a checklist of accomplishments, but also a concise, penetrating study of Reagan's formation and leadership...Edwards consciously creates a succinct political biography...This assessment of Reagan's presidency is something one sees far too little of in the Reagan literature—and it is an honest one.
Matthew James Sitman; Townhall

Overall, readers will find this book to be both well-written and informative. The author has provided an important political analysis of Reagan and his presidency.
Foreword Reviews

"The Essential Ronald Reagan is a very good introduction to America's 40th president. ...As the quasi-official historian of the conservative movement, Edwards is a fitting guide to Reagan's life and legacy."
John J. Miller; Washington Examiner

Edwards offers an interesting perspective on Reagan's transformation from a liberal Democrat who was an ethusiastic supporter of Franklin Roosevelt to a conservative Republican who eschewed big government... Readers will find this book to be both well-written and informative. The author has provided an important political analysis of Reagan and his presidency.
Robin Dasher-Alston; Foreword Reviews

In 147 pages of text, Lee Edwards has accomplished what Ronald Reagan's official biographer, Edmund Morris, was unable to do in 674: He has captured the essence of the 40th president's character.
Peter Hannaford; The Weekly Standard

—Concise yet comprehensive up-to-date political biography of a great American president.

—Highly readable and carefully documented,The Essential Ronald Reagan is filled with personal insights and observations by a respected historian who has studied and written about Ronald Reagan for 40 years.

—Analyzes the four essential qualities of leadership that enabled President Reagan to meet every challenge and crisis.