Magazine June 1, 2021, Issue

The Magnificent Nancy Reagan

From the cover of The Triumph of Nancy Reagan (Simon & Schuster)
The Triumph of Nancy Reagan, by Karen Tumulty (Simon & Schuster, 672 pp., $32.50)

Karen Tumulty, a columnist for the Washington Post, has produced the most comprehensive account of Nancy Reagan we are ever likely to receive. Historians are finally coming to terms with what Mrs. R. actually was: one of the most consequential first ladies in history. Actor James Stewart once said that had Nancy met Ronald Reagan earlier, Reagan never would have been president because she would have seen to it that he received all the best parts Hollywood had to offer. With each passing day, the truth of that remark becomes more apparent.

There remain doubters. Some will never see beyond the

This article appears as “The Magnificent Mrs. Reagan” in the June 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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Alvin S. Felzenberg — Mr. Felzenberg is the author of A Man and His Presidents: The Political Odyssey of William F. Buckley Jr. and The Leaders We Deserved: Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game.

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