Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency

Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency

From the bestselling team of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard comes Killing Reagan, a page-turning epic account of the career of President Ronald Reagan that tells the vivid story of his rise to power — and the forces of evil that conspired to bring him down.

Just two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman’s bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable — or so it seemed. But Reagan was grievously injured, forcing him to encounter a challenge that few men ever face. Could he silently overcome his traumatic experience while at the same time carrying out the duties of the most powerful man in the world?

Told in the same riveting fashion as Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Patton, Killing Reagan reaches back to the golden days of Hollywood, where Reagan found both fame and heartbreak, up through the years in the California governor’s mansion, and finally to the White House, where he presided over boom years and the fall of the Iron Curtain. But it was John Hinckley Jr.’s attack on him that precipitated President Reagan’s most heroic actions. In Killing Reagan, O’Reilly and Dugard take readers behind the scenes, creating an unforgettable portrait of a great man operating in violent times.


  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (September 22, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1627792414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1627792417
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4,278 customer reviews)
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  1. As an “O’Reilly Factor” and “Killing…” books fan, I was looking forward to the latest entry of the series that has somewhat reignited a degree of historic interest among many in the “historically-challenged” US population. By spotlighting one of our greatest presidents – and written by a seemingly objective conservative pundit who I believed would ensure fair treatment – I assumed it would stand as a credible addition to the voluminous scholarship on President Reagan.

    As difficult as this is to write, I can only say that I was wrong. To my surprise and disappointment, it is perhaps the most factually distorted, negatively skewed, and misleading portrayal I have read on one of our greatest and most influential presidents.

    Like the previous books in the series, “Killing Reagan” is succinct and pointed in its assertions, with a rigorous pacing that brings it in at approximately 289 pages. Yet, despite its efficient prose, the book fails in the following areas: 1) Several factual inaccuracies (either by omission of key caveats or the appropriate context); b) “Tabloid-fodder” assertions or rumors ill-sourced or assumed (but not proven) to be true; c) Selection of numerous events designed to reflect negatively on Reagan; d) Unproven negative and arbitrary opinions of Reagan and his capabilities are littered throughout.

    For example, I spotted over 30 factual errors, debatable points, or suspiciously sourced “tabloid-like” assertions that immediately undercut the book’s credibility. In addition, there were several anecdotes cited that required caveat or “the full story,” which is something O’Reilly prides himself as always providing but fails to do here.Read more ›

  2. I am a big fan of the O’Reilly Factor show, so I am not writing this not so good review with any bias against Bill O’Reilly. However, Bill O’Reilly tends to be a bit disappointing. I have in the past fallen prey to a book or two of his that was simply a reprint of interviews I had seen on the Factor.

    The Pro’s of the Book: It is written in a style that makes it a quick and fairly entertaining read. Even though I have a pretty in depth history background, I am not one of these people that has problems with popular history. There is absolutely nothing wrong with popular history, and if it were not for popular history like Walter Lord or Bruce Catton, I would never have become so interested in history. So, if I was someone who knew little about Reagan or just wanted a beach read, this book is ok in that respect. Also, it was very interesting when it did go into some detail on John Hinckley JR, there I read stuff I had not read previously. Unfortunately the book surprisingly went into not much detain on Hinckley or the actually assassination.

    Unfortunately, this book had many con’s for me. First off, for a fairly conservative commentator on what was once a conservative network, I was surprised at how anti-Reagan this book came off to me. This book portrayed Reagan as suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease much earlier than more scholarly and more recent works have. Also, the book was very gossipy, with a lot of time spent on alleged affairs and relationships of Reagan, again stuff that I had not read or seen in any recent and more scholarly in depth studies of Reagan. The book dwelled well too much on this type of stuff, which would have been more appropriate in a book on Clinton, LBJ or JFK.Read more ›

  3. This is certainly the worst of O’Reilly’s increasingly disappoint “Killing” series. First of all, Reagan didn’t die. Secondly, this badly written book must have been ghost written. It is poorly done. Third, as is happening more and more with the “Killing” books, it is all back story. Most of the early part of the book is devoted to biographies of other folks like Nixon and Ford. Too much time is spent on Reagan’s not very exciting acting career. You are more than 2/3rds of the way through the book before Reagan is even elected president. It portrays Reagan’s entire life in a negative light. This is a weak book by an increasingly weak author(or a poor ghostwriter).

  4. While have enjoyed some of Bill’s past books, but this one was quickly thrown together and poorly researched. In fact, Bill relied on thoroughly debunked hit pieces by previous authors as his “sources”. The reason O’Reilly did this was for sensationalism to drive book sales. As O’Reilly has gained in popularity, he has become lazy, self-entitled and is only interested in promoting himself. There have been numerous books authored about the former president that are far more accurate and thoroughly researched. This book should be read only if you like wasting your money and want fiction.

  5. I have read all of Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” books and this one is terrible. It is salacious in
    details of Reagan’s personal life and some of it is untrue based on the Kitty Kelly books
    and Vanity Fair article.. It makes me question his other books.
    Don’t waste your money!

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