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5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed MY life.
The moment I saw Peter Robinson on a television program touting this book, I knew I had to own it. While I was a child growing up during the Reagan administration, even then I was keenly aware of how great and enigmatic the fortieth president was. This book did give an excellent insider's view of the Reagan White House, including great stories and 'naming names' if you...
Published on June 24 2004 by W. Ryan Melson

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Tear Down This Wall
This book is written by the speech writer who wrote Reagan's most famous words: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." The story is in chapter four but the author fails to give it the details, the drama and the emotional intensity it deserves. It's a facinating incident but it cries for more passion. Insightful scenes like this are the best part of the book, images of the...
Published on Aug. 30 2003 by Paul August


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5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed MY life., June 24 2004
By 
W. Ryan Melson (Moulton, AL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
The moment I saw Peter Robinson on a television program touting this book, I knew I had to own it. While I was a child growing up during the Reagan administration, even then I was keenly aware of how great and enigmatic the fortieth president was. This book did give an excellent insider's view of the Reagan White House, including great stories and 'naming names' if you will. Yet Robinson also explored Reagan's weaknesses - his trouble connecting with his children as well as trusting those under him during Iran-Contra, even though his gut told him otherwise.
Bottom line - As great as Ronald Reagan was, he was still human with faults and imperfections all his own. The important lesson is not what happens when you fall - we all do - but how you respond. Reagan came back from an assassination attempt and political scandal. He had a job to do and a Cold War to win. You need only to look at the people who lined the streets and filled the rotunda during the week of remembrance to see the result.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a young man's hero, June 24 2004
By 
Rebecca Brown "rebeccasreads" (Clallam Bay, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
No matter your politics HOW RONALD REAGAN CHANGED MY LIFE is worth reading, worth learning from. Peter Robinson has a fluency & articulateness that is both charming & informative. What he has to tell, to teach, is eminently useful as we go about our lives earning our quota of daily bread, & perhaps most importantly, how to live a fully savored & flavored life.
Rebeccasreads highly recommends HOW RONALD REAGAN CHANGED MY LIFE as a keeper. A book every young professional could do with reading. It is profound & humorous, interesting & whimsical, filled with vignettes & cameo appearances, history & philosophy...all written with a light touch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My son's middle name is Reagan, June 11 2004
By 
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
As I am writing this review I am listening to the Reagan Funeral. When I read this book written by Mr. Robinson I was inspired beyond all measure. My wife and I were expecting our first child and I told my wife due to the writing of this book we will name our son witht he middle name Reagan. She agreed! This book opened my eyes and my heart to a world from which I lived in, but could not comprehend. Mr. Robinson thank you for writing such a book! Mr. Reagan thank you for your leadership. My son was born May 26, 2004, and his name is Luke Reagan Burkholder.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Inspiring of Books about Ronald Reagan, June 7 2004
By 
Joseph J. Slevin (Carlsbad, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
Peter Robinson takes a close look, a very intimate look at the things Ronald Reagan stood for and 10 of his maxims that effected a life change in Robinson and in Robinson's view, a whole nation.
His premise was that he wanted to tell his daughter about his former boss. She was nine years old when Mr. Reagan's 90th birthday rolled around and did not understand his importance to her nation and to her dad.
Robinson's book although a little unsung in the world of great books, is a tribute to a great man yet, it will also influence any who read it apply the Ten Maxims that are the subjects for each chapter.
The Ten Maxims Are in My Words:
When life gets difficult, dig in.
Do the work you are intended to do.
Life is a stage, act now.
What you say matters.
Use the brain you have been given.
Take things in stride.
Marry the right person and it will help your life.
Remember to pray daily.
Use your God given talents to influence the world around you.
You are important and can make a difference.
These maxims of life, seen through the life and actions of one of Americas greatest presidents are ours to learn, to understand and even to use.
This is a great book. I will give this as a gift to my friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars REAGAN DIDN'T JUST CHANGE LIVES, HE SAVED 'EM, June 6 2004
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
THE REAGAN THEORY
Why do I think Ronald Reagan was the greatest President of the 20th Century, on par with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt? Aside from his good character, his economic triumphs and patriotism, it comes down to a theory that I came up with after hearing Margaret Thatcher say he won the Cold War "without firing a shot." First, it entails an analysis of World War II, in which some 50 to 60 million people died, yet the world says it was worth it to defeat Hitler and Japan. This leads to my theory, which is based on the unfought World War III. Say this struggle was fought between freedom, led by the U.S., and Communism, led by the U.S.S.R., between 1983 and 1989. Say that during this period, 50 to 60 million people died, and the world was caught up in an Apocalypse just as terrible as the one fought in the 1940s. Say that, through better technology, leadership, military doctrine, and with the help of God, the U.S. wins World War III. Say further that the political fallout of the war is exactly and precisecly that with which actually happened in 1989-91. I say that had it happened this way, the world would again say it was worth it, to defeat Communism. Reagan did it without firing a shot, and this is why I love him so much. Furthermore, in an ironic twist, Bill Clinton owes much of his success to Reagan. The Republicans were victims of their own success in 1992. Having defeated Communism, the Military Industrial Complex came to a standstill, causing the brief economic downturn that cost George Bush his re-election. This in turn led to the Cold War dividend in which all those smart defense techies fueled the Internet revolution. Clinton, presiding over a world made peaceful by Reagan-Bush policies, his feet held to the fire by a Republican Congress bent on maintaining Reagan's economic principles, takes credit (and some of it rightly so) for a period of huge expansion of the economy.
STEVEN TRAVERS
Author of "Barry Bonds: Baseball's Superman"
STWRITES@aol.com
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4.0 out of 5 stars A synthesis that works, April 15 2004
By 
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
Robinson's book is equal parts a memoir from his time in the White House as a young speechwriter for the Reagan administration, a core-sample biography of the 40th president, and Chicken Soup-like advice for the young professional. By juxtaposing Reagan's work habits in the White House (he was an avid reader and writer, and was very hands-on when it came to his speeches) and bringing up the formative experiences of Reagan's life, you get a portrait - not a comprehensive one, but an indicative one - of a president who was working very hard to make it look very easy. Drawing a contrast to Martin Sheen's portrayal of a fictional president on television, Robinson highlights the contrast between image and reality:
"My mistake lay in assuming that the intensity must reach a peak or climax in the person of the President. If the people who worked for him were driven and harried, it stood to reason that the President himself must be the most driven and harried of all. "The West Wing" makes the same assumption. Just look at the way Martin Sheen plays the role of chief executive. The man's anguished soul searching never lets up.
"Yet in the Reagan White House, the intensity didn't peak in the person of the President. It evaporated..."
With the enigma that still seems to surround those who search for the "real Reagan", a portrait of his life and work put in contrast to the author, an underling in the White House who was at the beginning stages of his professional career, provides a fresh comparison that helps the reader learn about Reagan's better qualities and why they should be emulated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get to Know One of Our Greatest Presidents, Jan. 13 2004
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
I thought Peggy Noonan's book about Reagan, "When Character Was King" was the definitive book on the subject until I read this one. Peter Robinson explains why this deceptively simple man is one of our greatest presidents.
Reagan's ability to communicate with the public, hold to his conservative ideals, deal with subordinates, delegate authority and change history are explained clearly.
Most famous and powerful men do not make good family men. Reagan was no exception. Robinson allows how Reagan could have been a better father. But Reagan also had the qualities that make for greatness. He never lost sight of his ideals. He dealt with people in every station of life fairly and equally. Reagan's optimism comes through here and his dedication to hard work.
Ronald Reagan truly believed in the power of the individual. He rejuvenated conservativism when it was at its low point.
Above all President Reagan believed in America--her goodness and essential decency--two qualities that this man possessed in abundance.
Peter Robinson explains why Reagan changed his life. We can all use the same knowledge to change ours.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Real American Hero, Jan. 1 2004
By 
D. Carver "GADGET CRAZED" (Chicagoland, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
When Ronald Regan first ran for President I was fortunate enough to get a wave and a smile from him. He looked right at me, or so I felt, and I knew he would be our next President.
You will learn how honorable, decent, courageous, witty and smart he was with those around him.
This book describes the best president this country has ever had. You will learn how he ended the Cold War and brought the economy to new records. He had faults but who doesn't? It's really neat how this speechwriter grew in to a man by reflecting on Ronald Regan.
Buy it, you will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Reagan Primer, Dec 31 2003
By 
John A. Roby (Lincoln, NE United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
As the pundits and revisionists attempt to rewrite the history of his presidency, those who know Reagan continue to demontstrate the effect this great man had on them and history. This book is an excellent introduction into how Reagan the Man affected Reagan the President. Through examples of how Reagan handled his life, his staff and his faith, Mr. Robinson gives us insight into the inner world of Ronald Reagan. His rock solid faith and conviction flowed through events both personal and public, and changed the very course of history. I will most certainly be buying Reagan's memoir to get more perspective on a man who is without a doubt one of the great presidents of our time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "When life buries you, start digging.", Dec 31 2003
By 
Chris Salzer (Gainesville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Hardcover)
The pony story, one that Reagan told often, epitomizes his unbridled optimism, even in the face of sheer adversity. Peter Robinson, speechwriter for VP Bush and later for President Reagan, recounts this story along with many other amusing and inspiring anecdotes of his Reagan years. Robinson, a lifelong Republican and the speechwriter behind the "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall" speech, delineates 10 sagacious lessons learned from his commander in chief, all of which I found applicable to my own life, in an entertaining and informative read that any conservative is sure to enjoy.
Robinson, just 25 years old when he became the VP's speechwriter, speaks candidly of the ongoing battle of the speechwriters, the unwavering true believers, versus the malleable, if not subversive, pragmatists in the administration. Of Baker, Robinson recorded in his journal in 1983, "As far as I'm concerned, the list of adjectives that applies to the pragmatist reads like the entry in Roget's Thesaurus under the heading for 'jerk.'"
Robinson tells of the amusingly pointed speech written by his buddy Josh Gilder that, for all intents and purposes, quashed the Democrats' bid for raising taxes: "'My veto pen is drawn and ready, and I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers.' Reagan paused for a full, rounded beat, his eyes alight with pleasure. 'Go ahead. Make my day.' A couple of hours later, the effort to raise taxes collapsed. Josh and I exchanged high fives." Classic Reagan. Firm, resolute, doing what's in the best interest of Americans, and, as always, sticking to his guns.
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