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Kennedy and Reagan: Why Their Legacies Endure
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Kennedy and Reagan: Why Their Legacies Endure

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  12 reviews
It’s been more than fifty years since JFK’s assassination and a quarter century since Ronald Reagan left the White House, yet the two men remain the beaux ideals of what the left and the right believe a president should be, and of how a president should look, sound, and act. But has popular memory, in service to contemporary causes, distorted what the legacies of each man ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Lyons Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Feb 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, audio
My biggest problem with this book is that the title is incredibly misleading. I wanted something about their legacies (and why they endure) but instead I got a very tedious comparison of their histories and personal lives. I learned about their relationships with their moms, their school years, Reagan's dad's alcoholism, their religious beliefs, their relationships with their wives and girlfriends, and basically everything except how they developed in the womb.

By the time it got to the political
Brian Eshleman
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What could have been a party game of listing coincidental links between Kennedy and Reagan turned out to be quite meaningful. By comparing the two men and their alliance, he is able to compare the cultures in which they grew up with our own era. He goes beyond likenesses we would suspect, such as assassination attempts on both and their handsome, telegenic appearance, to highlight the transitory childhoods of both, and the influence that hard-driving fathers had on both, despite the differences ...more
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this in a first reads giveaway. I requested this book because on the surface Kennedy and Reagan are the LAST two Presidents who I would think had anything in common. The author did a wonderful job of proving me wrong. He gives an especially good example of common ground when he talks about the speeches they gave and how every election the candidates try to fill their shoes and fail miserably.
Mary Spink
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It kept me engaged from cover to cover. Reagan and Kennedy were two of America's most popular presidents. This book embraces those feelings. A must read for all. Thank you GR and Scott Farris! ...more
The author makes this initial comparison between Kennedy and Reagan:

"The issues Kennedy and Reagan grappled with during their presidencies were largely the same: avoiding nuclear conflict and blunting the expansion of Communism, finding the appropriate role of the federal government in ensuring civil rights, and promoting economic growth, particularly through tax policy. They shared many of the same basic principles, including an unwavering faith that America could do anything it chose to do, wh
Dave Schoettinger
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Farris engages in what he terms comparative biography - a kind of limited literary channel surfing. When you tire of reading about Kennedy, he turns your attention to Reagan. The author's conclusion that the primary reason why these two figures have become the patron saints of their respective political parties is that each was at his his best in a crisis situation and that the Cold War provided both with their share of weighty crises during which they could appear presidential. This would g ...more
Liz Wood
Educational + entertaining

Educational + entertaining

I found the parallels interesting and informational between the two men. I also felt a few bubbles of fantasy burst about a hero with feet of clay. I'm not sure if I agree with the premises presented in the book, but I definitely will continue to explore them.

Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting book comparing Presidents Kennedy and Reagan. It goes into their views on Communism, the military, and society. It also attempts to show why these two held those beliefs. While this is not a biography of either, it is still very readable for those who like either president.
I didn't realize Kennedy & Reagan had so much in common! Very interesting book but I skipped most of the chapter on financial stuff during their presidency because it was a little slow (or I was lost). Reagan is one of my favorite presidents and I'm always interested in the Kennedy mystique so it made for a fun book. A little slow in parts. ...more
Roger Thompson
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I teach Kennedy's philosophy in my civics class at Kyung Hee University, and I never realized that JFK and Reagan were so much alike! I recommended this book to one of my students who is doing a presentation on JFK and civil rights. A charming book and I highly recommend it! ...more
Yosef Shapiro
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bios, history
This is an interesting book. I would never have
Thought to compare these liberal and conservative
Heroes. They are much more alike than either of their
respective backers would like to believe.
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