New Ronald Reagan biography touts intellect that outwitted enemies, compassion that lifted lives: A ‘leader’

Craig Shirley, a noted historian and biographer of Ronald Reagan, still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. Citizens across the United States also continue to seek new leaders who can usher in a new “American Morning.”

They are getting closer to solving the mystery behind Reagan’s mysticism.

“Searching for Reagan: The Charming Intellectual Conservatism of Ronald Reagan,” to be published on February 13th, is Shirley’s latest biography of the 40th president of the United States.

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This new book documents what the author believes are the untold secrets of President Reagan’s success: the strong moral compassion and vast but underappreciated intelligence of a philosopher president.

“True leaders have moral, physical and intellectual presence,” Shirley said in an interview with Fox News Digital on Monday.

West Yellowstone, Montana: Then-California Governor Ronald Reagan appeared at a press conference at the Western Governors Conference dressed as a cowboy, wearing the traditional white hat of a Western “good man.” (Getty Images)

“I was in the room with President Reagan many times, and he was always the one person in the room who was the moral, physical, and intellectual leader.”

“The left always knew that to destroy American conservatism, they needed to destroy the most successful conservative president in 20th century American history.”

Shirley started a grassroots campaign to support the former California governor’s election in 1980.

He then worked for many years with and on behalf of the president.

“The left has always known that to destroy American conservatism, they needed to destroy the most successful conservative president in 20th century American history,” Shirley writes in his new book.

He calls his new book a “counterattack” against such efforts to diminish the president’s historic accomplishments.

new reagan biography

Looking for Reagan is historian Craig Shirley’s latest biography of the 40th president. The release date is his February 13, 2024. Shirley is the author of five previous biographies examining Reagan’s life. (Courtesy of Craig Shirley)

“According to liberal historian John Patrick Diggins, Reagan goes down in history as one of our nation’s four greatest presidents, along with Washington, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt,” Fox News Channel’s “Life Liberty.” “And Levin,” host Mark Levin said. In the preface to The Search for Reagan, he writes:

Reagan boasted charisma, a connection to everyday Americans, moral clarity, the muscular physical presence of a leading figure in Hollywood’s Golden Age, and a reputation as a great communicator. These characteristics were impossible for even his rivals to dispute.

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So Reagan’s enemies attacked what appeared to be one of the few weak points in the president’s political armor. his intelligence.

Shirley names the characters assassins and revisionists.

“One of the worst books ever written about Reagan was, ironically, ‘Dutch’, which was supposed to be his official biography. Written by Edmund Morris,” the book says.

Reagan biographer Craig Shirley

In addition to his previous biography of Ronald Reagan, Craig Shirley is the author of a new book, The Search for Reagan, to be released in 2024. The 40th president was “incredibly clairvoyant,” said Shirley, who is based in Virginia. (Courtesy of Craig Shirley)

“It ended up being a joke with made-up characters and a false story. It received derisive reviews, sold poorly, and now can’t even be found in the gift shop at the Reagan Library.”

But Shirley insists the president’s intelligence was obvious.

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Reagan outmaneuvered the American left, won two elections by landslides, and won the support of the American people. He outmaneuvered the Soviet Union and won the Cold War.

He read and quoted the Founding Fathers and great philosophers in his speeches, and seemed to anticipate the state of America today in speeches dating back to the 1960s.

“He read five newspapers a day and one nonfiction book a week.”

Among other examples of intellectual curiosity, Reagan was a voracious reader.

“He read five newspapers a day and one nonfiction book a week, along with copious amounts of policy memos,” Shirley said.

Reagan also had a passion for writing, writing thousands of letters during his eight years as president, perhaps more than any other president in history, biographers say.

ronald reagan with flag

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States (1981-1989) and 33rd Governor of California (1967-1975). (Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

“I think writing is the mark of a true intellectual,” Shirley said.

The author noted that “Reaganomics” policy architect Martin Anderson estimated that the president had an astronomical IQ of 175.

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The president’s ivory tower critics not only derided him as an intellectual frivolous, but in his later years branded him an aloof old fool.

However, President Reagan was only 69 years old when he took office in January 1981. He was 77 when he left the White House eight years later.

In contrast, President Biden was 78 years old when he took the oath of office in January 2021.

Reagan on the Berlin Wall

In June 1987, President Reagan famously challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall. (Getty Images)

Reagan ended the infamous “malaise” of the Jimmy Carter administration, boosted national morale, and rebuilt America’s economic and military strength.


Shirley writes, and others agree, that Reagan’s intelligence demonstrated the ability of conservatism to rally a movement to improve the lives of all Americans.

Ronald Reagan with a flag behind him

Ronald Reagan was 69 years old when he became president in January 1981. He was 77 when he left the White House eight years later. (Fox News)

“Reagan mobilized rhetoric into actual political, economic, and cultural ideas and framed them into a solid, logical conservative philosophy,” Levin writes in the preface.

Shirley’s new book is published by Post Hill Press and is available wherever books are sold. including Amazon.

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