Listen as Larry spoke with Craig Shirley about his new book, Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980 and Bill O’Reilly’s exit from FOX News.
During the interview, Shirley addressed Bill O’Reilly’s exit:
O’Connor: I’ve had you on in the past to talk about some exceptions you’ve had to Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Reagan. I’d love for your instant reaction to how this all came down. I know that you’ve had issues with Bill in the past but it is a remarkable run that he had.
Shirley: Yeah, it’s a remarkable run but unfortunately some of it was bad for history. Not just the history of Ronald Reagan but of John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln because his books were so air-filled. And I know that’s harsh but … My mother was in Scotland just 2 weeks ago and she was checking in to a hotel, Edinburgh. The inn keeper wanted to know how things were going in the United States as far as Trump and all of that. Then they drifted into a conversation about Reagan and the inn keeper said, ‘That was 7 years of senility’. And of course my mother argued with him and pushed back but that’s the residue of the damage Bill O’Reilly’s book did to the Reagan legacy because that senility stuff came directly from his book. So I’m not going to say I’m sorry to see him go. I think justice is being served but the fact is that a lot of us are going to have to clean up the messes that he made from his bad history about Ronald Reagan and other historic figures.
A summary of Shirley’s new book is below:
New York Times bestselling biographer Craig Shirley charts Ronald Reagan’s astonishing rise from the ashes of his lost 1976 presidential bid to overwhelming victory in 1980. American conservatism—and the nation itself—would never be the same.
In 1976, when Ronald Reagan lost his second bid for the GOP presidential nomination (the first was in 1968), most observers believed his political career was over. Yet one year later, at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, Reagan sounded like a new man. He introduced conservatives to a “New Republican Party”—one that looked beyond the traditional country club and corporate boardroom base to embrace “the man and woman in the factories . . . the farmer . . . the cop on the beat. Our party,” Reagan said, “must be the party of the individual. It must not sell out the individual to cater to the group.” [Read More]
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