Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Faith of Ronald Reagan

First, it should be noted that I love Ronald Reagan. As such, I love reading anything and everything about our 40th president. Secondly, I am a Christian who devours almost any non-fiction book with a Christian bent. Therefore, when I came across a book combining the two, I had no doubt this book would make it onto my "top 10 books of all time" list.

It did not. Not even close.

I was surprised to discover that the writing of "New York Times Best-Selling Author" Mary Beth Brown was very redundant and awkward. I noticed the clumsy prose almost immediately--in the introduction, I believe. In fact, her writing kept distracting me from the content, which- for the most part- was decent. Nonetheless, I kept reading because I "kept the faith" that the storytelling might improve as the book progressed. Of course, it didn't. (I realize that's delusional thinking, but I was so desperate for this book to be great that I overlooked its immediate and obvious flaws....which is the same thing that many women do when they are desperate to be in a relationship, but I digress...)

Somewhat ironically- of all the Reagan biographies I've read- this book moved me the least. It is almost as if- by centering the book on the president's Christian faith- it feels too forced...or as though Brown is pushing an agenda. (Again, I remind you that I am a Christian and I love Christian books.) Perhaps Reagan's other biographers let his words and actions speak for themselves, and the reader is able to deduce- accurately and on his/her own terms- that Reagan's faith was the key component to his inspirational life. Or perhaps Brown's glowing voice is just not detached enough to make it sound genuinely credible. (It sounds more like Reagan's mother Nelle wrote it than an objective biographer.)

Thus, if you are looking for a serious and well-written biography, look elsewhere. I believe his life is testament enough to his undying faith in Jesus Christ...and that you will find in almost any biography of the late great Ronald Wilson Reagan.

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