Book Report: Noonan, Peggy. "When Character Was King". New York: Penguin Books, 2001. (Following Guidelines Assigned By Teacher)

1071 words - 4 pages

Peggy Noonan, the author of When Character Was King, has quite impressive credentials for writing this book. After high school graduation, she attended the secretarial school within Fairleigh Dickson University, where she majored in journalism. From there, she became a producer at CBS news. While working for CBS, Noonan wrote Dan Rather's daily radio commentary and received the Tom Phillips Award for broadcasting. In 1978 to 1979, Noonan became a professor of journalism at New York University. In 1984, Noonan was recruited to the become special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. It was there that Noonan became acquainted with Reagan along with many of the people she quoted throughout the biography. In 1988, Noonan was asked to be chief speech writer for George Bush (Sr.) during his presidential campaign. She left the White house after one year and in 1989, wrote her first (bestselling) book: What I Saw at the Revolution. She has since written eight more books, encompassing American history, politics and culture. Currently, Noonan is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and her articles appear in the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post and TIME.Noonan's biography, When Character Was King, provides a very elaborate description of Ronald Reagan's life and career. In it, Noonan states that Reagan was born in 1911 into a very poor family in Tampico, Illinois, and worked his way up to greatness. In the 1930s, Reagan began his acting career with radio broadcasting and later starred in movies and on television. During the red scare, he became a political figure, speaking out against communism. After gaining much public recognition, he ran for governor of California in 1966 and won. After two terms as governor, Reagan set his sights even higher: he decided to aim for president. His first presidential campaign was unsuccessful. In 1981, he ran again and was elected to be the 40th president of the United States. Several years after his term ended, Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's; he died in 2004. After his death, Reagan is claimed by many to be "the greatest American president of the twentieth century" (Brimlow) and he will be forever commemorated as such.Noonan's book on Ronald Regan gives a critical insight into the man's life and times. By writing this book, Noonan worked to show the reader what made Reagan great. Throughout the narrative, she reviews and analyzes many of the president's defining characteristics, some of which include determination, righteousness, strength and confidence. She sets out to prove how Reagan is truly an extraordinary man and a rare find. Noonan begins by saying that the book is "a retelling of his [Reagan's] life and a look at its meaning, a look at who he was as a man" and the more that she thinks about him, the stronger she believes that "he wasn't ordinary at all...There was some huge kind of destiny playing out within him" (15-16). This quote exemplifies the entire focus of the book; Noonan aims to...

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