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"You read her to thrall in her striking ability to behold great vistas through a pinhole . . . in a language that is always concrete and vital."(The New York Times)

"Noonan possesses an astonishingly deft touch for making the political process come alive."(USA Today)

It is twenty years—a full generation—since Ronald Reagan first walked into the White House and ignited a revolution. From the beginning, he enjoyed the American people's affection but now, as he approaches the end of his life, he has received what he deserved even more: their deep respect.

What was the wellspring of his greatness? Peggy Noonan, bestselling author of the classic Reagan-era memoirWhat I Saw at the Revolution, former speechwriter, and now a columnist and contributing editor forThe Wall Street Journal, argues that the secret of Reagan's success was no secret at all. It was his character—his courage, his kindness, his persistence, his honesty, and his almost heroic patience in the face of setbacks—that was the most important element of his success.

The one thing a man must bring into the White House with him if he is to succeed, Noonan contends, is a character that people come to recognize as high, sturdy, and reliable.

Noonan, renowned for her special insight into Ronald Reagan's history and personality, brings her own reflections on Reagan to bear inWhen Character Was Kingand discloses never-before-told stories from the former president's family, friends, and White House colleagues to reveal the true nature of a man even his opponents now view as a maker of big history.

Marked by incisive wit and elegant prose,When Character Was Kingwill enlighten and move readers.
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ISBN-10:  0670882356
ISBN-13:  978-0670882359
Author:  Peggy Noonan
Genre:  Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher:  Viking Adult
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review by . June 21, 2004
This book celebrates the beliefs of President Reagan and the background more than the actual events of his life. It presents that life superimposed on a series of values and beliefs that steered him. Peggy Noonan's Ronald Reagan could not do other than what he did because his character and his religion compelled him into the directions he took. One can debate if they were the correct directions but that is in my opinion a correct statement.The book is a tad messanic. I would subimt that the author …
review by . August 08, 2002
. . .which does not fit -- and should not be fit -- into the typical biography category.No particularly new details about the 40th President of the United States are revealed here which would be of interest to an historian. That is not the purpose of the book. Rather, Ms. Noonan sets forth a portrait of an ordinary man who rose to the challenge and did great things. In the tradition of the classic Irish storyteller, Ms. Noonan tries (and for the most part, succeeds) in expressing the humanity of …
review by . December 10, 2001
When Lou Cannon was on The Today Show recently to promote his own new Reagan book, Katie Couric opened the interview by asking, with a sneer in her voice, 'Why do we need *another* book about Ronald Reagan?'Cannon was too polite to say so, but his answer could have been, 'Because people like you, Katie, keep getting him wrong.'As Peggy Noonan points out, most of the people who have written about the Gipper over the years, up to and including his official biographer Edmund Morris, have understood …
When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan
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