FIRST LADY NANCY REAGAN

Nancy Reagan has a new biographer. Karen Tumulty, a long-time political columnist for the Washington Post has written The Triumph of Nancy Reagan, a volume of 578 pages of text, just published by Simon & Schuster. Ms. Tumulty is a member of the Washington media establishment, a noxious group of individuals; this by itself made me reluctant to read it. However, reason trumped emotion, and since I, perhaps inappropriately, consider myself a First Lady expert, purchased the biography, and quickly became engrossed in its reading.

Regarding style and composition, the author has written a very comprehensive story. Her research was patently exhaustive; her list of interviewees was both sweeping and thorough. However, the references sometimes jumble upon one another, obscuring easy understanding.

Thus far, I have not detected significant bias against Ronald and Nancy Reagan. This viewpoint is subject to change as I get deeper into the biography.

One theme is manifest from the Introduction: Nancy and Ronnie were completely and entirely devoted to each other, to the near-exclusion of their children. Nancy was able, far more than her husband, to discern who was committed to Ronald Reagan’s success, and who was committed first to their own personal advancement.

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