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Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  385 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
A shocking portrait of the 1980s, America, and the woman whose position helped shape the values and policies of the Reagan administration. Through over 1,000 interviews collected during four years of exhaustive research and reporting, Kelley reveals Nancy Reagan as a superb public performer, a vain, materialistic social climber, a bitter foe and formidable strategist--an A ...more
Paperback, 688 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 676)
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David J. Andrews
I read this book mostly to gross out my Republican friends. The Reagan myth is alive and well and the damage he did to our country is just now beginning to be understood. His heir is George W. Bush (and the father was not much better). All this Reagan nostalgia is petty awful. Kitty Kelly got it right. The Reagans were all hype and no real ability or accomplishments. Maybe we can now move on and leave this sorry history behind.
May 29, 2013 Sull rated it liked it
Excellent but depressing book about a woman who just didn't get it. Her childhood explains this, perhaps, a time & place where appearances, even deceptive ones, were all, and reality was no fun.

Kitty Kelley is good at finding the nasty, dangerous needle in the sweetly-scented haystack. Nancy Reagan must have hated this book, if she ever read it, which I strongly doubt. Addictively readable and surprisingly depressing....
Jo-Ann Murphy
Sep 10, 2013 Jo-Ann Murphy rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Wow! These people have no redeeming qualities. I worked under the Reagan administration and saw they devastation they created but still had positive feelings about them personally. It was obvious from their children they were not good parents, but I know many fine people who are lousy parents. I realize now it was more than just bad parenting. This book pointed out what good actors the two of them were. They may not be academy award worthy, but they were certainly good enough to fool a nation.

Pam Bergeson
Apr 02, 2014 Pam Bergeson rated it really liked it
This book was an excellent read. Nancy Reagan was an insecure social climber, who used people all her life to get ahead. She was cheap, a bigot hating both Jews and Blacks, and a terrible mother. Her daughter, Patti, hates her. There is not much redeemable about her. Poor woman was angry and never figured out what makes a person happy. It's a side of her she didn't want the public to know about.
Feb 19, 2008 Y rated it it was amazing

its exactly what i want to read when its hot outside and im getting drunk. nancy reagan lies about her age! steals tons of designer clothes and other peoples husbands! bangs frank sinatra! controls ronald! hates her children!

ahhh. deeply satisfying.
Aug 19, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing
I really gained a tremendous insight into Nancy Reagan and her relationship with her husband, Ronald. Interesting stuff about her tenure in the White House and how she was perceived by the help. Many interesting stories, including her threats against Kitty Kelley for writing this expose.
Christine Grant
Dec 22, 2012 Christine Grant rated it really liked it
I read this book a decade ago and really enjoyed i t. I didn't necessarily believe everything that Ms. Kelley wrote but I still found it an entertaining read. To be fair, I followed this book with Nancy's book "My Turn" and enjoyed that just as much if not more so.
Mar 21, 2009 Wilhelmina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was quite curious what made this woman tick. The answer? Everything and everything that involved money $$$!
Sep 08, 2008 Alycia rated it it was amazing
By far the best of the Kelley biographies
Stanley Costkow
Mar 12, 2016 Stanley Costkow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read This After Nancy Davis Reagan Funeral

I was astounded by the ostentatious (pomp and circumstance) of the Nancy Davis Reagan funeral. I thought it as false and vulgar as her and her husband's life as written by Kitty Kelly. I will never understand the veneration and admiration bestowed upon this vile and repulsive couple. Their awful occupation of the White House in the name of the United States' citizens might now be forgotten. I truly hope so.

This is a well written, well documented history
Sep 04, 2011 Duncan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
What can I say. Another well researched biography by Kitty Kelley. It reinforces all my prejudices and is an excellent companion to .The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty
Samah Abugharsa
Mar 23, 2016 Samah Abugharsa rated it really liked it
An interesting read
Jan 13, 2011 Connie rated it really liked it
Nancy Reagan is a manipulative and hard woman.
Nov 07, 2015 Pamfrommd rated it really liked it
Goodreads asks "What did you think?" I think my reading standards dropped dramatically after I read my first Kitty Kelley book earlier this year, My Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra. Enjoyed it immensely. Now I've just finished the Nancy Reagan book and I confess to loving every minute of it too. Junk food for the brain! The most hilarious line in the book, and there are many, was unintentional. In writing about Nancy's superstitious nature, Kelley wrote: "[Nancy] slept with her ...more
May 13, 2016 Lyg rated it did not like it
TL;DR: Horrid book. Like a tabloid newspaper.

Nancy Reagan was quite an interesting character. While I have always loved Ronald Reagan very much, his wife has never held much warmth in my heart. Just watch Don Rickles' performance at the second Inaugural Gala and you'll get a glimpse of the difference between Mr. and Mrs. Reagan.

That being made clear, my opinion on this book? Absolute rubbish. It would seem that this Kitty Kelley spent her research time on the sole purpose of digging up dirt and
Dec 08, 2008 Sara rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2009 Naomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since this is an unauthorized biography, a person doesn't know what to believe about the subject. The author is renowned for unauthorized biographies, such as the one about Frank Sinatra. It is disconcerting to learn how vain and grasping people involved in politics can be.
Jan 20, 2009 Zweegas marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition

I did a book report about this book when I was in the ninth grade. I tried (sort of) to read it but never actually did. I just took all the snippets I used from media reviews of it.

I'm not sure if what Kitty Kelly does is despicable or admirable.
Nothing new here. Same story we've all heard.
Jan 09, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
The author reveals Nancy's need to be perfect. Her shrewd behavior was dysfunctional. It was disheartening to see how she treated her children. Perfection was done at the cost of her family.
Dec 25, 2008 Alethia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At the time that this book was publish, it created a big buzz, because of what it reveled about Nancy Reagan. The book was an absolute bored. It was one of the most boring books I ever read
Very interesting and very insightful. I learned alot about not only Nancy but Ronald as well. Although I am sure the book is horribly biased by Kelley and took it with a grain of salt.
Marilyn DeYoung
Nov 11, 2007 Marilyn DeYoung rated it liked it
I am writing about Nancy Reagan abd Kelley really does a number on her, Nancy lied all her life. It is an interesting read if you like the Reagans years in the White House
Apr 27, 2009 Murray rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Political nerds (like me)
Shelves: politics, biography
A book I have dipped into with squeamish interest - I was never her (or his) greatest fan!

Kitty Kelly does good research and writes in a most accessible way.
Aug 09, 2011 Stacy rated it liked it
Scandalous! While I am not a huge Kitty Kelley fan, this is definitely an interesting read. The pictures in the middle almost speak louder than the author!
Burt Schoeppe
Lazily written. Provides a few insights, but Nancy Reagan's influence was well known.

Don't quite get Kitty Kelley's popularity.
Sep 17, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
One of my favs. As with all Kitty books its very tabliod, but thats what I love about it. I see it more as fact mixed with fun fiction.
+ Dragonfly+
Apr 12, 2011 + Dragonfly+ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like to read Kitty Kelley books and in this one she did the reading on the cassett. Interesting book.
Mar 26, 2014 John rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, fiction
this author will write anything to sell one more book and people buy into it. Book was a bore.
Jun 23, 2009 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, makes you want to smack Nancy and Ronny. Lots of gossip. A good read.
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Kitty Kelley is an American investigative journalist and author of several best-selling unauthorized biographies of celebrities and politicians. Described as a "poison pen" biographer, her profiles frequently contain unflattering personal anecdotes and details, and their accuracy is often questioned. Though many of her books have topped the best sellers list, Kelley's credibility and sources have ...more
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