The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan

Press and Praise for The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan

Rebellion of Ronald Reagan book cover

Broadcast interviews with James Mann:

The Aspen Institute May 6, 2009
MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show
The Paula Gordon Show, Atlanta
NPR’s All Things Considered
Web interview on New Books in History

More reviews:

For a debate and series of reviews about The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan, see
Foreign Policy.

“All of those who have written about Reagan have found their subject elusive. How can the affable, anecdote-telling actor and the principled, thoughtful statesman be the same person? Mann … does a superb job of explaining how Reagan helped change the world.”
— The  Dallas Morning News

“Were Ronald Reagan’s efforts to end the Cold War really the result of his handlers? Hardly, as Mann makes a persuasive case for Reagan’s negotiation skills and plans in confronting the Soviet Union.”
— Los Angeles Times

“Depending on your political perspective, Ronald Reagan either had zip to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union or single-handedly tossed it onto history’s ash heap using his unique combination of guile and strength….”
— Columbia Journalism Review

“In the introduction to “The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan” [Mann] writes, “I wanted to examine the hidden aspects of American foreign policy and to explain them in a historical narrative.” Several dozen interviews and examinations of previously inaccessible archives later, he has done just that.”
— Washington Times

“Mann enlivens his account with telling anecdotes…and with a brilliant exposition of the tug of war within the administration over Reagan’s famous Berlin Wall speech.”

— Kirkus (starred review)

“Mann bases his argument upon impressive original research…”
— Library Journal

“Jim Mann has given us a gripping and meticulously documented reconstruction of key events that led to the end of the Cold War. President Reagan is revealed as a canny leader who, by instinct more than analysis, zigzags his way through the arcane politics of the foreign policy elite (Nixon and Kissinger) and bureaucratic in- fighting, to support Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in his effort to end the U.S.-Soviet military confrontation and reform Russian society.”
— Richard H. Solomon, Director of State Department Policy Planning during the Reagan Administration and President, U.S. Institute of Peace.

“This is history and politics at its best. Jim Mann has scoured the archives and tracked down new sources to write a highly original account of Reagan’s role in ending the Cold War. His compelling and scrupulously fair narrative will upend myths held by both the left and the right.”
— Glenn Kessler, author of The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy

By junking the cliches and stereotypes of conventional Cold War post-mortems James “Mann frustrates ideologues on both extremes of the political spectrum. But the rest of us benefit greatly from this fresh-eyed, probing analysis of one of the most pregnant periods in world history. ‘The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan’ not only provides a clear window on the past but also a valuable template for grappling with the post-George W. Bush future of U.S. dealings with the rest of the planet.”
— Robert Shogan, National Political Correspondent,  Los Angeles Times, 1973-1999

“In this masterful study, James Mann convincingly shows how Ronald Reagan overcame his conservative critics to pursue the Cold War endgame. Mann delivers the big picture and some delicious tidbits, bringing new insights to familiar figures as well as new information about less-known characters. His nuanced portrait of Reagan, based on extensive interviews and declassified documents, illuminates the transformative years in the run-up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
— James Goldgeier, Professor of Political Science, George Washington University; Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Co-author, America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11

“Amazingly, James Mann has broken new ground and uncovered compelling reasons to reinterpret Ronald Reagan’s central role and the real motivation for his most important initiative-the outreach to Mikhail Gorbachev that led to the end of the cold war. This is a fascinating and brilliantly reported history with relevance for all who love politics and foreign policy.”
— Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent

“In this extraordinarily smart, nuanced, and readable account, James Mann straightens out the many misinterpretations that have bedeviled the legacy left by one of our most complex presidents. This book is required reading for anyone who wants to understand Ronald Reagan and his role in ending the Cold War.”
— Peter Scoblic, editor of The New Republic and the author of U.S. vs. Them