Buy “Killing Reagan (Audible Audio Edition) Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Robert Petkoff, Macmillan Audio Books” Online
As an OReilly Factor and Killing books fan, I was looking forward to the latest entry of the series that has somewhat reignited a degree of historic interest among many in the historically-challenged US population. By spotlighting one of our greatest presidents and written by a seemingly objective conservative pundit who I believed would ensure fair treatment I assumed it would stand as a credible addition to the voluminous scholarship on President Reagan. As difficult as this is to write, I can only say that I was wrong. To my surprise and disappointment, it is perhaps the most factually distorted, negatively skewed, and misleading portrayal I have read on one of our greatest and most influential presidents. Like the previous books in the series, Killing Reagan is succinct and pointed in its assertions, with a rigorous pacing that brings it in at approximately 289 pages. Yet, despite its efficient prose, the book fails in the following areas: 1) Several factual inaccuracies (either by omission of key caveats or the appropriate context); b) Tabloid-fodder assertions or rumors ill-sourced or assumed (but not proven) to be true; c) Selection of numerous events designed to reflect negatively on Reagan; d) Unproven negative and arbitrary opinions of Reagan and his capabilities are littered throughout. For example, I spotted over 30 factual errors, debatable points, or suspiciously sourced tabloid-like assertions that immediately undercut the books credibility. In addition, there were several anecdotes cited that required caveat or the full story, which is something OReilly prides himself as always providing but fails to do here. These include: – Assertion that the Reagan campaign cheated by having stolen Carters briefing notes for their only debate in 1980 (P. 8). The book openly speculates that it was Nancy who stole them, which is unsupported. Also, OReilly could have mentioned that it was also revealed that the Carter camp had acquired an insider analysis on RRs debate preparation from a mole inside of the campaign, pretty much evening things out. Of course, although fairly common in all political campaigns, neither course was ethical but they were also not illegal (in a word, thats politics). Yet, only telling one side is factual inaccuracy by omission, implying that RR somehow cheated his way to victory in the debate and perhaps the election. – Characterizations of numerous sexual escapades, alleged extra-marital affairs in 1952 (which prevented him from being at the birth of his daughter, Patricia Ann; P. 49), and a rumored one in 1968 as Governor (P. 83) allegations exaggerated or never proven. Yet, the authors write as though they are factual, again negatively depicting RRs character. – Repeated assertions of the Reagans obsession with Astrology and Nancys erratic personality, which were cited in Don Regans memoir, For The Record, and Kitty Kelleys Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography which are both known for their exaggerated and tabloid-like attacks on particularly Nancy Reagan. Killing Reagan provides that RR himself also took Astrology seriously, even though neither Regan, Kelley or any other source has claimed this. Also, due to the fact that both authors had an axe to grind, using either source as credible casts great doubts about the validity of the books assertions. – In several passages, Reagan is described as not a great intellect, passive, stubborn, disengaged, puts little effort into fatherhood, has his good days and bad days, in permanent decline, visibly frail, naps frequently, delegates much power to Nancy, spends hours during the day watching television reruns, and other swipes that amount to little more than petty slights, or arbitrary and/or parroted opinions. They are also conveyed absent of any positive behavior or characteristics, creating a wholly negative depiction (see P. 83). – Regarding Iran-Contra, OReilly writes: Although two key members of the conspiracy NorthandWeinberger, made it clear Reagan knew what was happening, no charges were ever filed against the president (P. 224). This is not true. While Reagan knew of the sales to Iran (which he admitted), no evidence has ever been found that proves RR knew about the diversion of funds. Also, neither Poindexter, North, or Weinberger ever testified that RR actually knew of this. – Erroneous and/or incomplete depiction of RR and the Falklands War (PP. 199-211). The authors’ message here is that RR opposed the British re-taking of the Falklands and repeatedly tried to convince Thatcher to abandon the effort because Argentina was supporting US operations against Cuban and Nicaraguan Communists in Central America. Yet, the authors fail to mention that Reagan actually did covertly support the British effort by providing USAF resources on nearby Ascension Island (for aerial operations), Sidewinder missiles, logistics materials and other support. Thatcher specifically thanked RR for this in one phone conversation in late June 1982. Yet, the authors depiction leaves one with the impression that RR stubbornly opposed Britain and was later beaten down by Thatcher for it (PP. 208-211). It also makes no mention of how RR deftly towed a fine line between both Argentina and Britain, ensuring their future support. Again, a relative positive turned into a negative. – The authors catalog every gaffe, embarrassing moment, and perceived lapse of Reagan and his presidency without mentioning the many good moments. These would include his comforting words on the Challenger disaster, Reykjavik summit, and seminal speeches from the 40th D-Day anniversary, Notre Dame, British Parliament, SDI, Evil Empire speech, and many others. Rather, OReilly prefers to provide significant space to Iran-Contra, the potential invocation of the 25th Amendment due to Reagans suspected senility, and even August 1984s were doing all we can tongue-tied incident at the Ranch. They seemed determined to merely hand-wave his successes (P. 224), yet spend nearly the entire book citing anything resembling a failure or foible. There are other examples but the overarching message is this: Killing Reagan is a pointedly negative portrait of a great president and American legend. Their depiction is almost bi-polar, simultaneously portraying a dubious, semi-senile blunderer who somehow magically comes to life when pursing the destruction of Communism. OReillys Reagan is a physically and mentally deteriorating actor and mediocrity whose wife and staff are secretly running the country; whose brilliance is sporadic and ever decreasing due to the onset of Alzheimers and/or dementia-like symptoms something never proven and pointedly denied by RRs doctors and everyone who worked with him daily while President. Yet, this doesnt prevent OReilly from citing it as credible and/or a fact. Martin Dugard apparently led the research on this, and sourcing selections provides clues as to why the book is so negative and tabloid-like. In other terms, citing severely inaccurate or skewed sources like Kitty Kellys Nancy Reagan, James Clarkes Defining Danger, and Mayer and McManus Landslide: The Unmaking of the President (among others) automatically calls into question his intentions of getting it right. Based on this, the book inevitably skews negative when their content is adopted and expanded as they are throughout the book. The radical Reagan-haters of the L3 (i.e., Leftist Liar Lowlifes) continue to lie about RR in a failing attempt to somehow diminish or delegitimize his presidency for their own ideological purposes. They cherry-pick facets that benefit their arguments without ever proving their claims and/or providing the full story. And, because they cannot factually win the debate on RRs legacy, they routinely resort to personal slander to marginalize both Reagan and those who would defend him. Dissent is not tolerated in their crusade to re-write history to discredit the success of opposing ideas. Thus, good scholarship is essential to ensuring that the facts of history are not lost to politically-motivated historical revisionism. Unfortunately, this book adds to the increasingly discredited Reagan-hater attacks. By trying not to lionize Reagan, OReilly and Dugard diminish him and his legacy with continuous negativity and veiled personal attacks throughout. Killing Reagan is the biggest publishing disappointment of the year and should be regarded for what it truly is: the historical equivalent of a fast food meal. Despite its initially attractive qualities, it is wholly unsatisfying and even destructive to ones sense of fulfillment and taste. The title more or less describes what it inadvertently does or tries to do to Reagan and his legacy. Check it out!
Killing Reagan Audible Audiobook – Unabridged Bill O’Reilly (Author, Narrator), Review
I was an adult during President Reagan’s term in office, and I clearly remember the challenges he – and the country – faced at the time. You could legitimately call me a Reagan fan, however I’m not a hard-core fan who is not able to withstand negative information about his life. I wanted that caveat noted since Mr. O’Reilly asserts on many occasions that readers who leave negative feedback are in that group. I began reading in interest, but it became evident early on that much of the information contained in the pages seemed to be merely gossip, and difficult and/or impossible to verify. Since then I have researched the material and found many errors regarding their "facts". In fact, in last night’s reading of the "mail" on "The Factor" someone noted that the Reagan library will not carry the book as they assert it’s not factual/historical (paraphrasing). Bill’s answer, which he delivered with great passion, was that he and Mr. Dugard had requested memos from the library which have seemingly "magically" disappeared. It’s due to this disagreement that the Reagan Library is not adding "Killing Reagan" to their inventory. If their source material was accurate and vetted, why would the authors be trying to find their source after the release of their book?In any case, I will finish the book since I’ve paid for it (hard copy), but I find it difficult since there is so much questionable material contained in its pages. I do, however, take some responsibility since I also bought "Legends and Lies" and read a comment on Amazon from an expert who was on the series stating her comments were edited and taken out of context. With that edit it appeared she was incorrect in her information. All I can say is that I’m a fan of President Reagan and was hopeful I would receive a well sourced biography of his life and presidency. As an example of a personal "fact" : while Mr. Reagan was in Hollywood he bedded an actress who states she was unable to obtain a climax, and he was so frustrated that he stated there was something wrong with *her*. Now, unless Mr. O’Reilly or Mr. Dugard were in the bedroom with the two parties, how can they state this as a fact of his life during his acting days. Yes, the actress may have stated this some time during her life, but this is hearsay and an "Enquirer" story. There is no place for this in a factual history book. Now that may seem a silly thing to bring up when there were so many assertions about his term in office, but it does give an example of the source material contained within the book’s pages. -Read Reviews-
For the most part this was an interesting book that educated me on a few things about President Reagan that I did not know. It’s implied that he was a man with a lot of potential, and he finally realized that potential in his presidency. I did think, however, that this was a skeleton of his life, that it didn’t tell me what he was actually feeling, or explain in greater detail some of the most profound interactions he had. For example, his role with Pope John Paul II was not even mentioned. ..and I think that was a pivotal moment in bringing a close to the cold war. Missing that was, for me, a major blunder. I’m wondering what else was missed if this most obvious "meeting of two great leaders" was ignored. So, I would never compare O’Reilly’s writing to those of David McCullough.