... deeply researched and compellingly crafted ... Tumulty paints a striking portrait ... Relying on Nancy’s previously unavailable personal papers at the Reagan library and interviews with her son and stepbrother, Tumulty is able to construct a persuasive portrait of the future first lady’s character development ... Tumulty’s biography, sympathetic yet objective, captures Reagan-era ironies[.]
Tumulty has produced a thorough, compelling biography that underscores what was always hidden in plain sight. Her Nancy is a driven, savvy, indomitable operative, a dogged domestic diplomat on behalf of her affable yet oddly remote ideologue of a husband.
Tumulty seems aware of the uphill battle involved in writing a thoroughly researched and historically responsible biographical reassessment of a controversial figure like the first lady ... She’s written a masterpiece. Tumulty is well aware of her subject’s shortcomings ... Tumulty, who interviewed a legion of sources, presents a picture of the first lady as surprisingly earthy, an avid listener, and consistently, stealthily, kind ... All future biographies of her will have to start with this one[.]