FIRST FATHER, FIRST DAUGHTER: A Memoir by Maureen Reagan
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If all of this cheery book were as clich‚d and sanitized as the opening chapters, one could write it off as the first of the first family's memoirs: exuberant yet inconsequential. But the former President's daughter has her own story to tell as well as her own version of recent events, and the unbuttoned style that made her unwelcome in early Reagan campaigns gives this book both color and pace. Readers may dispute Maureen's claim to a charmed early life--both acting parents were very busy--and shrug off the generosity extended to Dad and Nancy, who concealed her relationship to stepsister Patti for seven or eight years (""until that time there had been no need for her to know any such thing about me""), but they can't miss the major theme. Once out of school, ""Mermie"" worked hard at a string of uninspired jobs, endured a brief abusive marriage (revealed in detail here for the first time), and immersed herself in Republican causes. A party member for more years than her father, she was nevertheless restricted to the shadows during his California campaigns by managers (Spencer, Roberts) she still resents. A second marriage failed; Maureen found feminism; the family suffered disappointment in '76; and then came into glory years: better than her own bedroom in the White House was her father's long-denied recognition. She enjoyed greater access to the President, influenced some of his policy decisions, and frequently challenged the recommendations of advisors. No longer consigned to ""the wilderness of his political life,"" she served as a roving ambassador and, currently, as Republican National Committee Co-Chair. Though Maureen is a song-in-my-heart narrator who cherishes the macaroni moments in the President's house, her strong opinions--on Deaver, Raisa, Regan, North--are more likely to attract attention, especially if she takes this richly anecdotal show on the road.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1989
ISBN: 0316736368
Publisher: Little, Brown