Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan

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Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan is a 1999 biography of Ronald Reagan by Reagan's authorized biographer, Edmund Morris. The book provoked controversy with its fictional elements and sometimes ambivalent attitude toward the subject.

Contents

Edmund Morris and "Edmund Morris"

Morris used the peculiar literary device of inserting a fictional version of himself into the story. Although Morris did not meet Reagan until the 1980s, this fictional Morris made Reagan's acquaintance during their youth and followed his career through media and politics. Morris also invented several characters to provide commentary on Reagan's actions and public perception. Although this literary device is described on the book's dust jacket, it is mentioned nowhere in the text.

Reaction

Reaction to this long-awaited biography were, at best, mixed. Historians felt the book was "deliberately deceptive and undeniably bad history."[1] Some reviewers felt too many pages were spent on the fictional Morris at the expense of the subject material.[2] Another commentator praised its "[qualified but] massively favorable" judgment on Reagan and consider the book "a failure more fascinating and moving than many a pedestrian success."[3]

Notes

  1. Masur 1999.
  2. Harbrecht 1999.
  3. O'Sullivan 1999.

References

Further Reading

Morris, Edmund. Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan. New York: Random House, 1999.

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