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ISBN 0375756450 / 9780375756450 / 0-375-75645-0
Publisher Random House Inc
List price $16.95
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In what must surely be one of the most unusual and critically scrutinized biographies ever written, Edmund Morris has created a difficult but fascinating chronicle nearly as enigmatic as his book's inscrutable subject. Read by the author himself, this audio version comes replete with a special acknowledgment of the controversial nature of the book and an especially poignant closing passage addressing Reagan's senescent slide into dementia. In the explanatory preface Morris describes the rationale behind his unconventional effort: "When the biographer sits talking with the still living subject, as I did so often with President Reagan ... the story of his journey becomes, in effect, an autobiography, that interrelates with the biography he's writing. In other words, this is the true story of a real person told by an imaginary narrator who eventually mutates into myself." A curious and debatable strategy. However, using this unprecedented approach, Morris has created an unarguably intimate, highly detailed, and powerfully moving memoir which reaches a level of emotional resonance rarely achieved in more traditional biographies. (Running time: 9 hours, 6 cassettes) --George Laney [via]