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Killing Reagan by Bill O'Reilly

Killing ReaganWhile it’s obvious that the latest entry in Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” franchise, Killing Reagan, doesn’t end with a titular death like the other books in the series, it is nonetheless a page-turner. Following Reagan’s life from his breakout in movies in the 1930s to his death in 2004, Killing Reagan can be described more as a biography of our 40th President than a chronicle of John Hinckley Jr.’s assassination attempt on the President in 1981.

With this book, O’Reilly seems to be giving up on detailing famous killings to jump into the genre of creative non-fiction (the assassination attempt only takes up about 40 pages). His writing style, however, remains the same. The author interweaves the story of Reagan’s life with a series of interesting anecdotes about the man, his family, and his entourage to present what reads like a suspenseful historical novel.

Even though this book doesn’t present any new perspectives on Reagan’s life, and the accuracy of some of the research is under question, Killing Reagan succeeds in its main purpose, which is to entertain. Reaching nearly 300 pages, but feeling much shorter, this book presents a vivid picture of Reagan’s career, personal life, and legacy. Although Killing Reagan probably isn’t the best book for the avid scholar, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to brush up on his or her knowledge of Presidential history, or for someone who simply desires a light, quick, fun read.


Andrew Scarafile

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