‘The Triumph of Nancy Reagan,’ a new biography by Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty

Paul Lisnek Behind the Curtain

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON — Air Date 05/01/1972 — Pictured: (l-r) First Lady of California Nancy Reagan, host Johnny Carson — Photo by: Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the author of a new in depth biography of First Lady Nancy Reagan, Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor and political columnist Karen Tumulty. Tumulty makes it clear that Nancy was a very complex woman, not the caricature she was often presented to be. While husband, President Ronald Reagan was considered Teflon, Nancy is described as being Velcro, writes Tumulty. A love affair to be sure, but one with the arguments and reality of any marriage. She was an important and powerful ally for people around the President to have, but she was also seen as icy, vain, and brimming with entitlement. You may have a strong opinion about Mrs. Reagan, but this book uncovers the depth of her influence and role, including the memorable efforts like “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign, but also the glaring failure of the administration’s handling of the AIDS crisis as Nancy’s own dear friend Rock Hudson was dying of the disease and the administration bent to political pressure to do nearly nothing… and Nancy knew it. An in-depth look at an often misunderstood person and important historical figure.

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Paul Lisnek Behind the Curtain
Behind the Curtain

Paul Lisnek is the political analyst for WGN-TV and anchors “WGN-TV Political Report,” seen Sunday mornings at 9am and repeating at 1:30am. Paul also hosts “Broadway in Chicago Backstage” on the Comcast Network. Click for more.