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Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984-1988

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  10 reviews
For six years Ronald Reagan seemed invincible. Then came the Iran-Contra scandal, and his once-charmed presidency began coming apart. This explosive book provides the first authoritative account of Reagan's second term White House--a book that is both a gripping narrative and a carefully documented investigation. 8-page photo insert.
Hardcover, 468 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1988)
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Erik Graff
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Reagan fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Donald Trump, given his apparent ignorance and proclivity to address complex issues with simplistic 'solutions', has reminded me of Ronald Reagan, motivating me to read a number of books about Reagan and his administration. This one, its authors being from The LA Times and The Wall Street Journal (hardly left-wing publications), is a study of Reagan's presidential and personal style and how it led, on the one hand, to his popularity, and, on the other, to his downfall. Thus, it reads a bit, ...more
Ariadna73
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book is the chronic of the last fours years of Ronald Reagan's mandate. It describes in great detail and citing reliable sources how Reagan took the job of being President of the USA as a representative role. He did not want to nor he made important decisions of any kind. That was the job of others. He was there to be on time, impeccably dressed, and to deliver well written speeches with which he had nothing to do.

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Grindy Stone
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Only flaw with this book is the title, as the volume isn't a macro look at the Reagan Administration but rather a detailed (but never tedious) history of the Iran-Contra affair. If you're like me you will think the most striking aspect of the whole scandal was how the Iranians played American amateurs like Oliver North and Bud McFarlane, delivering time and again far less than promised for the plane loads of weaponry delivered to Iran.
Kevin
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent work of investigative reporting that demonstrates the utter bizarreness of the Reagan White House and how it functioned. Or didn't. The spirit and reality of those years is best illustrated by this one detail about the weapons-for-hostages deal with Iran: the hostage the White House was most anxious to bring home--for Beirut CIA station chief William Buckley--had been dead for three months at the time the deal was concluded.
Chris
Jun 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced and entertaining. For someone who was not in America in the 80s, I'm always amazed by the shenanigans of the Reagan administration. For the older crowd this will read like old news but for me it was gripping and informative.
Ariadna73
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is the chronic of the last fours years of Ronald Reagan's mandate. It describes in great detail and citing reliable sources how Reagan took the job of being President of the USA as a representative role. He did not want to nor he made important decisions of any kind. That was the job of others. He was there to be on time, impeccably dressed, and to deliver well written speeches with which he had nothing to do.

This is the cover, jacket info and contents of the book I read:


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...more
Lifa Nobanda
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jane Mayer is a good writer and this book proves it! She writes about Ronald Reagan's 2nd term in Office. She brings out vividly the struggles in the White House for the ear of RR and how his impassive and laissez-faire approach gave everyone the opportunity to to try and influence his decisiond. What l thoroughly found interesting was how his Chief of Staff Donald Regan tried to have and give direct access to the president through him, by throwing his weight around. It ultimately cost him his ...more
Bill
Jan 04, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The authors seem to believe that Reagan's hollywood training and simpleminded jingoism represent some real achievement and indicate strong character. His superficial and vacuous character, practical disengagement, and dimwitted policies were, to the authors, astonishing revelations to the American people after the Iran-Contra scandal became known. This owes more to the right-wing efforts over the past thirty years to establish a cult of personality around Ronald Reagan than to the actual ...more
Philip Girvan
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The focus of the book is the Iran-Contra affair, and, through this telling of Iran-Contra, sheds light on how the dismantling of the James Baker III, Michael Deaver, and Edwin Meese 'triumvirate' weakened the Reagan White House.

It's a fascinating read and sections detailing the CIA and the NSC's manipulation of Reagan's Cabinet and the US Congress, and their brazen disregard for the Constitution are vividly told.
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Jane Mayer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three bestselling and critically acclaimed narrative nonfiction books. She co-authored Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 19841988, with Doyle McManus, and Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, with Jill Abramson, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Her book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the
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