By Peggy Grande
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Grande’s stories and never-before-seen photos show a unique, private side to a public figure and leader who reshaped conservatism, ushered in an era of prosperity, and helped spur the end of the Cold War. Grande reveals what day-to-day life was like in Reagan’s California office, including the former president’s relationship with the First Lady and his interactions with friends, world leaders, and everyday Americans. Grande recalls how Reagan kept a vigorous schedule for years after he left the White House, his robust engagement with others, and ongoing political advocacy. Despite his eventual Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Grande shows how Ronald Reagan remained true to core beliefs, his gentlemanly kindness, and his undying hope for his country.
Today the Reagan legacy looms over American politics more than ever. Grande reminds readers why: When Ronald Reagan was president, we not only loved ourselves but also loved America, and the American values he represented: faith, optimism, and patriotism.
To Serve the President
I grew up in a sleepy little town in the northern part of Orange County, California, back when Disneyland was still surrounded by strawberry fields. The view from my second-story bedroom window was nothing but orange groves, and behind my family's tract home in Brea, sheep and cattle grazed. The 1970s were rapidly approaching, and many Americans, including my parents, were eager to leave the troubling counterculture of the 1960s behind. I was the middle kid of three—an older sister, Carrie, and a younger brother, Paul, each of us perfectly spaced two years apart.
Carrie was always a hard act to follow—valedictorian of her class, an accomplished pianist, volleyball player, and member of a championship basketball team. Not surprisingly, she would go on to get her doctoral degree and become a college professor. My brother was a nonstop tornado of brilliance and creativity, always talking a mile a minute, saying "I have an idea," inventing things and making things that were functional—and often funny. He was part of the theater department, ran track and cross country, and used his straight-A brains to become a top doctor and leader in the arena of public health. We attended public schools; my parents had moved to Brea specifically because it had the top schools in the area, providing us with challenging coursework and opportunities for leadership roles and a variety of extracurricular activities. To get to high school, my siblings and I cut through a wash, ducked under a fence, and crossed railroad tracks flanked by a swamp thick with cattails. Life was good, and it was simple.
My parents, Terry and Susan Giboney, were both educators. My mother had been a high school home economics teacher before she became a full-time mom. She enjoyed teaching so much that she continued to teach Sunday school and adult night school classes to stay connected to the classroom, eventually going back for a master's degree and becoming a college professor. My father also was an educator, starting as an elementary school teacher, then principal, then personnel director for a school district, and eventually becoming superintendent of schools for a nearby community. The values my parents instilled in us were ones of faith, family, education, and gratitude. I deeply loved my family, my church, and my town. I was a good student and heavily involved in student government and leadership programs. When I graduated in 1986 from Brea-Olinda High School, I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" for the yearbook. I was terrified by the pressure that brought. I had no idea what success would look like, so I hoped that it would somehow find me. Even so, I often found myself dreaming about what life might be like in a world much bigger than the one where I grew up.
Little did I know how perfectly my future would align with my childhood obsession. I was that kid, a precocious little girl whom no one really understood, in the grip of an unusual fascination. I read every book available in the library at William E. Fanning Elementary School about presidents of the United States, the White House, and Washington, DC. I couldn't understand why others didn't share the same intense interest. Perhaps since I was born right around election day I was destined to care about politics—and presidents. In fact, the newspaper headline on the day of my first birthday, November 6, 1968, was "Nixon Wins!" My mom prophetically clipped it out and tucked it into my baby book.
All through school, into high school, every paper I wrote or topic I researched led back to a president, a historical milestone, or a landmark in DC. Presidents and First Ladies were my alternate reality. In Washington, DC, important people made important decisions that affected us all, unlike in my small community, where it seemed that nothing historic had ever taken place. The office of the president fascinated me. This was an institution so strong and flexible that it could even withstand the mistakes of character and judgment of the almost four dozen individuals who had held the office. To someday see Washington, DC, and somehow walk the halls of the White House was my biggest dream.
In the summer of 1975, my family drove cross-country in our station wagon, visiting relatives all along the way, until we arrived in Washington, DC. When we finally reached the capital I was thrilled—and overwhelmed! The buildings were enormous, and everything seemed so important and historic. It was sensory overload. I looked at the men in suits and ties and the ladies in dresses and heels and wondered who they knew or what they had done to be so lucky as to work in the nation's capital. At that point in my life it had never even crossed my mind that an ordinary person like me could ever work in such an extraordinary place.
My parents accepted my strange obsession, but they didn't really know how to cultivate it. Other than opening our home as a polling place for every election, my parents were not involved with politics. They were Republicans, like everyone else we knew in Orange County, but not deeply passionate about their views or invested in issues or candidates. They thought DC might not be safe, especially for their daughter, and feared that if I entered politics it could corrupt me. In some ways they were right, because my obsession brought into my young mind worries that were very large for a little girl.
My interest in government and the presidency stoked my curiosity about the world and, when I was young, the state of it disturbed my idealism and my innocence. In the 1970s, when I was still in elementary school, I remember being frightened of nuclear war, upset by the gas crisis, worried about the weak economy and the inflation rate, even though I didn't truly understand what that meant. The history books I read told about great men who led our country, but I was scared of the weakness and pessimism I saw and felt all around me. I didn't understand why the country I loved and the institutions I revered could not solve these problems. The presidents of the past had overcome and endured and triumphed, and now I was paying attention to history playing out in real time, but the challenges were no longer abstract—they were tied to my nation, my community, my family, and me. All I knew was that people around me seemed worried and unhappy. The current president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, made me feel fearful, insecure, and pessimistic. Yet when I was in junior high, Ronald Reagan was elected president. I felt immediately he was a man who was worthy of the office.
When Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president of the United States in January 1981, there was widespread domestic malaise. The economy had slowed, jobs were scarce, taxes were high, and, worst of all, American morale was extremely low. On day one Ronald Reagan began to talk about it being "morning in America." He said that "America's best days are yet to come." He spoke of America as a "shining city on a hill" and made our nation believe that anything was possible—not only in the future, but that change was already taking place. In reality, the country was no different on Ronald Reagan's inauguration day than it had been the day before. Yet the perception had completely changed, and that made all the difference. I started looking at myself and my future through entirely new eyes. He championed a bold and ambitious plan of action that inspired me and made me want to be part of reinvigorating the nation.
The day President Reagan was inaugurated, January 20, 1981, I was only in seventh grade but felt like a weight had been lifted. As I watched highlights of his inauguration speech on the news that night, I was convinced he would keep me safe and always tell the truth. I had confidence he understood what was going on in America and in the world and would take care of it in a way that would benefit us all.
To me, Ronald Reagan was the perfect combination of everything I loved in a person: his values were strong, and he was optimistic and practical. His nickname, the Great Communicator, was well deserved. The way he explained the global economy and national security was not simplistic, yet was easy to understand. When he spoke on TV he always used we: we Americans, we the people, we as a nation. The personal connection I felt with him made me believe that I had to step up, too, because he was counting on me. We all had to do our best to restore America, and he would show us how.
My fascination with Ronald Reagan continued to grow as I followed him closely throughout high school. I not only was drawn to him personally but began paying attention to his policies as well, which were foundational in the forming of my own political ideology. Watching and listening to him helped me learn to articulate my point of view and influenced my worldview as it was taking shape.
Though politics, government, and President Reagan remained important fixtures in my life—a hobby of sorts—the practical side of me prevailed when it came to choosing a college and a major. I toyed with the idea of going to college in Washington, DC, but never seriously considered a career in politics back then. In addition, being a native Southern Californian, I don't just dislike cold weather, but I am actually terrified of it, avoid it at all costs, and couldn't imagine choosing to live someplace cold and snowy, even if it was just for four years. So warm and sunny SoCal was my choice for college—and a beautiful campus on the coast of the Pacific Ocean had captured my heart when I visited for the first time at the age of ten. Pepperdine University had everything I was looking for in a college: a small Christian school that offered a solid liberal arts education. It was far enough from my hometown to allow me to have a new life at school, and it was close to the beach, which I had adored since I was little. My dream of living on the ocean was about to come true, and I was ecstatic!
Beyond the beachfront property, I was there to learn and study, so I made a very mature decision to choose my major by process of elimination. I wasn't fond of science or math, so any major that required an abundance of those classes was removed from consideration. I wanted lots of options after graduation and saw marketing or PR as being too specific, potentially limiting my employment options. I was interested in journalism and broadcasting but, honestly, lacked the confidence at that time to be in front of a camera. I settled on an organizational communications major, which had elements of everything I thought I would enjoy without locking me into a narrow specialty. I hoped that it would prepare me for anything and everything—and I feel that it perfectly did.
I chose communications in part due to President Reagan's inspiring influence on my life. The Great Communicator was in the White House, and my affection for him drew me to communications personally as well as from a scholarly perspective. In my classes I analyzed Ronald Reagan's speeches, even writing an entire term paper on his remarks to the nation following the Challenger disaster.
In college I was involved in student government on campus and was a resident assistant in the dorms to help cover expenses, but unlike high school, where I was involved in anything and everything, in college I primarily focused on my studies. I was highly motivated to get on with the rest of my life and wanted to fast-track my college experience—and did.
During those brief college years, though, I met my husband, Greg. I was a little sister for his fraternity and briefly dated one of his roommates, so our paths had crossed periodically, but at first he did not spark my interest romantically. He was a senior and I was a freshman. He sported a big bushy 1980s mustache, so he seemed to be very old and mature, like a nice big brother, but not someone I would be interested in beyond that.
The summer after my freshman year, though, Greg and I got to know each other better on a Pepperdine semester abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. Many of our classmates were more interested in shopping, meeting Europeans, and exploring nightlife than seeing Germany and beyond. Greg and I, however, shared the goal of seeing as much of Europe as we could. He planned great weekend adventures, and I trusted that I would be safe in his group, so I asked if I could tag along on a weekend trip to Switzerland. He bristled, warning me that he would not wait for me if I was running late and he would not carry my bags. I proved his expectations wrong by being tolerant of dirty, crowded trains, resilient with schedule changes, and easygoing during travel snafus, with a deck of cards on hand—always ready to beat him in gin rummy. That became the first of our many travel adventures.
That semester, as we spent time together on trains and in cafes, we became close friends and confidants, even though we discovered that we were wired very differently. I wasn't the typical frivolous college freshman he had thought but instead was on pace to graduate a semester early. I had thought he was so mature and old, yet he said he was "trying to cram four years into five" as best as he could. He saw no reason to rush the fun and stuck around for an additional year at Pepperdine. After the summer abroad, when we returned to the States and started back to school that next year, it only took a few months for our newfound friendship to turn into a more serious relationship.
In January 1989, my senior year at Pepperdine, the university announced that Ronald Reagan would give his second post-presidency speech on our campus. I counted down the days until the moment when I would be able to see him in person. I planned to get to Firestone Fieldhouse very early so that I could get as close as possible, but the morning of the speech my alarm didn't go off. I woke up in a panic, hurriedly dressed, grabbed my camera, and ran down just in time to get a seat in the farthest section from the stage. Nonetheless, I could hardly breathe from anticipation.
The former president was announced to thunderous applause, none louder than mine. There he was—Ronald Reagan—himself, in person, in the flesh, in the same room that I was. The utterly impossible had become possible. I snapped an entire roll of pictures. From my seat, with the weak zoom of my inexpensive film camera, my record of this historic moment looks more like Where's Waldo? I couldn't have cared less.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined my Where's Waldo? experience with President Reagan would be the very beginning, not the end.
In the summer of 1989, I was acutely aware that graduation was nearing. I would be finishing a semester early, in December. I had an opportunity to pursue work experience in lieu of one additional course and was excited to find an internship for my final college semester. I made a list of ten places in Los Angeles where I would be interested in working. I knew Ronald Reagan had recently left the White House and had opened an office in West LA, so that, of course, would be my top choice. I didn't know if they had an internship program or hired students, but I had to find out. In fact, I wasn't really sure at that point what his office even did, but I knew that whatever it was, I wanted to be part of it. This seemed like an impossible-to-attain dream job, but my father always said, "Someone has to have the job you want, so it might as well be you." Thankfully, I believed him.
I sent letters to ten organizations asking for the opportunity to intern in their offices, describing my experience (which, though limited at that point, was supported by great enthusiasm), a tireless work ethic, and an internal drive to succeed and achieve. For several weeks I received no response to any of my letters, which was making for a very disappointing final semester ahead. Then one afternoon during summer school the phone rang in my dorm room.
"Is this Peggy Giboney?" said a woman's voice.
"Yes, it is."
"This is Selina Jackson, intern coordinator from the Office of Ronald Reagan," she continued.
I jumped up from my desk, eager with anticipation.
"We received your letter and are impressed with your previous work experience and appreciate your interest in our office," Ms. Jackson said. "Are you available to come in for an interview on Thursday morning at ten a.m.?"
"Yes, of course!" I practically screamed, trying hard to suppress my glee. "I am available then!"
"Oh good," Ms. Jackson said. "The office is in Fox Plaza, located at 2121 Avenue of the Stars in Century City. I'll leave your name at the security desk and they will escort you to the elevator to access our secure floor—the thirty-fourth floor. See you on Thursday at ten."
I hung up and stood staring at the phone, unable to comprehend my luck. I didn't have any political experience on my resume, so I wondered what had caused them to give me a call and give me a chance. I didn't dare tell anyone about the phone call and upcoming interview lest it jinx my good fortune. Besides, no one would believe me anyway—and it probably wouldn't ever pan out. Right?
Another thing that little girl in the library at Fanning Elementary School had dreamed of was a better wardrobe. I had studied the fashions of the First Ladies almost as carefully as I studied the actions of their husbands. I worked my way through college selling men's sportswear at Nordstrom, taking full advantage of my employee discount, and already had the perfect outfit for this job interview: a long knife-pleated classic Burberry plaid skirt, crisp white double-breasted blouse with covered buttons and a Peter Pan collar, and the ultimate Republican red blazer, complete with the compulsory shoulder pads of the era. Navy ballet flats with panty hose (of course—always back then), curled hair with teased big bangs, pearl earrings, colored eye shadow, and more makeup than my typical collegiate look.
The interview was twenty miles away, down Pacific Coast Highway from Pepperdine to the Century City area of West Los Angeles. Every drive to visit my parents in Brea began with this long, curvy stretch of road with breathtaking views of the Pacific to my right. This trip was different, though. Instead of staying on the 10 freeway, I took the 405 North and exited on Santa Monica Boulevard. The Office of Ronald Reagan was in Fox Plaza on Avenue of the Stars, a street I soon saw was worthy of its name. I'd never driven on such a wide, grand thoroughfare. The buildings were not crammed together, like the density of downtown LA or Beverly Hills. The tall office buildings and five-star hotels stood far apart, each an elegant statement. Driving down the broad boulevard gave me a good feeling, as though I had arrived in a place where I was destined to be. Then I pulled into the parking lot and saw how much it cost to park. I knew I wouldn't have enough cash on hand to get my car out of the garage after my interview. I'd figure that out later. I was expected at the president's office.
The president's office was on the top floor, the penthouse, but it was more like an impenetrable fortress, protected by the United States Secret Service and accessible only if you had a secure elevator key card. My ears popped as the elevator rocketed up thirty-four floors in a matter of seconds. I straightened my collar and blazer, and took a deep breath as I exited the elevator.
I had pictured an entry space that looked like the White House, but this reception area was much more California casual in its undeniable elegance. Jumbo glossy photos of President Reagan with world leaders, the president with Mrs. Reagan, the president with flags in the background, in the White House, and with the Statue of Liberty in the distance lined the walls. It all felt very patriotic and formal and important. The receptionist greeted me politely, and I asked for Selina Jackson, the intern coordinator and executive assistant to the chief of staff. I was asked to take a seat. I couldn't help but notice the heavy bulletproof doors on both ends of the reception area and guards positioned in the hallway. It felt very intimidating. I took a deep breath and decided that no matter how my interview went, I was grateful I had made it to the thirty-fourth floor, regardless of how brief or long my stay there might be.
Selina was much younger than I had imagined. She walked with the confidence of a woman who had worked in the White House during the Reagan administration, but that experience had not muffled her small-town Kansas charm. Her sparkling brown eyes, big bright smile, and welcoming manner immediately put me at ease. She led me past the Secret Service agents posted in the hallway and into the president's conference room, motioning that I take a seat in one of a dozen wood-and-leather armchairs that surrounded the massive polished conference table. I faced wall-to-wall windows that framed a sweeping view of Los Angeles, facing west toward Santa Monica. A majestic porcelain eagle stood in front of the wall of glass, with smaller side tables displaying bronze sculptures of cowboys, saddles, and horses—a nice hint of Western ranchero in the otherwise stately environment.
In spite of the butterflies in my stomach, Selina and I talked like old friends. At first, she asked me the standard interview questions about my background, my work experience, and my specific interest in the office and the president. I tried to temper my enthusiasm a bit so as not to seem too eager or too obsessed with Ronald Reagan, which I thought would not appear very professional. Since I had not worked much in an office or in politics, I instead chose to focus on my personal traits, work ethic, and personality. I provided examples of projects I had coordinated, shared previous successful roles, and demonstrated a sincere willingness to learn from her and become a student of the office—its priorities, its people, and its purpose. This personal approach seemed to work, and soon we were talking warmly and comfortably. I was almost surprised when the interview was over. Selina escorted me to the lobby, promising she would be in touch soon, asking me to wait for a moment while she validated my parking stub so I wouldn't have to pay. Whew—I had completely forgotten about that.
Waiting for her in the lobby felt almost like a dream state. It was so foreign to anything I had ever done or experienced, yet somehow strangely familiar, as if this was all meant to be. The door nearest me suddenly swung open and four Secret Service agents in suits and ties, with earpieces, radios, and with guns holstered under their coats, walked hurriedly toward me. Did they know who I was? Did they know what I was doing there? Were they going to shoot me? Arrest me? And then, behind the lead agent I saw two older gentlemen in golf attire. Wait. Was it? Could it possibly be? It was. It was the president and his golf buddy, Walter Annenberg.
In all of my interview prep and planning it had never occurred to me that I might actually meet President Reagan. I didn't know what to do, so I thought about what I would do if the flag were passing. I stood up straight, placing my hand over my heart, not even looking at him, staring off nobly into the distance. I'm certain I looked completely ridiculous.
Instead of walking past me, he walked right toward me, looked me in the eye, and extended his hand. I shook his hand and introduced myself.
"Well, hello, Peggy. It's nice to meet you," said the fortieth president of the United States of America.
I had imagined him as a ten-foot-tall giant; after all, he had been a movie star, a governor, and the president of the United States. He had tackled communism head-on, fixed the domestic economy, and solved many of the world's problems. Yet here he was, an ordinary man—just over six feet tall. His hair in pictures appeared jet black, but up close I saw touches of gray, evidence of his seventy-eight years. He was ruddy and rosy-cheeked, full of life, happiness, and vitality. His smile was more asymmetrical than I had noticed in photographs—and it was perfect in its imperfect way. And those eyes: a wonderful, bright, true blue and carrying so much joy.
He was gone as quickly as he appeared, taking all the people, the energy, and the aura of power and importance with him. The office was suddenly eerily still.
Selina then walked through the same door, grinning ear to ear, having witnessed my salute.
"It's pretty incredible, meeting him for the first time, isn't it?"
"You should have warned me," I said, still trembling inside.
"No, it's much better this way!"
And though I felt I had horribly embarrassed myself, I had to agree.
Selina then handed me parking validation stickers.
"I was going to wait to call you tomorrow and leave you hanging in suspense for at least a while, but I already know that I want you to work here with us. So can you start interning with us on Monday?"
Yes, I could.
I held it together until I was outside the building. I did not know whether to shout for joy, cry, or drop to my knees in prayers of thanksgiving. I was so overwhelmed by all that had just happened that I started laughing. Out loud. The preposterousness of it all. Me. Him. This office. Fox Plaza. Avenue of the Stars. We had met. He shook my hand. And now I work for him? I did not have any idea what Monday would hold, but I knew with confidence that my life would never be the same after that day. And in fact, it had already changed.
First Day at Work
On Monday, August 7, 1989, I drove down Avenue of the Stars toward my new job, feeling confident I had thought everything through. Over the weekend I spent considerable time contemplating my presentation for the first day at work. My hope was to blend in, yet distinguish myself in a way that would make me look more like a staff member than an intern. Wardrobe, I had decided, was key. I chose a purple double-breasted coatdress with shiny gold buttons, heels, hose, and matching gold jewelry—very East Coast preppy, just like the other women I had observed during my walk through the office with Selina. I knew that a proper appearance would buy me a little time. My personal goal for day 1 was simple: Do not make any stupid mistakes and ensure that there would be a day 2!
I would be working twenty hours a week as an intern in the Office of Public Affairs, to the right of the conference room where I had had my job interview. Although I wouldn't be receiving a paycheck, I knew the experience would be life changing and would allow me to get some work experience while also finishing my coursework at Pepperdine. Selina introduced me around the office and gave me a key card, which was both my parking pass and my access pass for the elevator. She showed me the back entrance for the staff and shared with me the code to open that door. Then she showed me to the intern desk, where she gave me an overview of my duties and quickly reviewed the phone system. She thanked me for being there (imagine that!), wished me luck, and headed back toward the president's office, to the left of the conference room.
The intern desk was bare: no personal mementos or photographs, as it was shared throughout the week by other interns. Our job was to answer the phones while we combed through current newspapers and magazines for articles that mentioned the president, and be available for projects and errands as needed. The inbox was stacked high with publications waiting to be reviewed.
Selina had acted nonchalant about my assigned duties, but I felt as if I had been given the keys to Fort Knox! I had secret intel—and backroom access. I was so excited I wondered if I would be able to recall the sequence of numbers to get into the office or remember what to say when the phone rang. I thought if others saw me grinning at my desk while such serious business was under way around me they might think I was too giddy, or maybe a bit too eager. I suppressed my grin and got to work.
I picked up a copy of the Wall Street Journal and started to flip the pages. The phone rang.
"Office of Ronald Reagan," I said brightly.
"Mark Weinberg, please," the man responded.
"May I tell him who is calling?"
"Ronald Reagan," the president laughingly replied.
- "Peggy Grande had a once in a lifetime opportunity to serve President Reagan after his presidency, and we are fortunate to have her stories.... This is a fresh look at a wonderful man who continues to inspire long after he served our country."—Dana Perino, WhiteHouse Press Secretary for George W. Bush and bestselling author of And theGood News Is... and Let Me Tell You about Jasper...
- "Throughout our country's history, our leaders and icons have been brought to life by those who knew them best. We are fortunate that Peggy Grande shares her time with one of our most beloved presidents. The President Will See You Now is a gift to all Americans."—RoseMarie Terenzio, New York Times bestsellingauthor of Fairy Tale Interrupted
- "Peggy Grande had a front row seat to the final years of Ronald Reagan's remarkable life. In The President Will See You Now, she shares amazing stories and renews our respect for such a remarkable leader. Peggy's insights remind us of President Reagan's eternal optimism and belief in the American people. For those who love Reagan, it is a must read."—Scott Walker,Governor of Wisconsin
- "In The President Will See You Now, Peggy Grande has given us an inspiring portrait of Ronald Reagan, whose integrity brought out the best in everyone around him. Peggy's stories--from the love story of the president's marriage with Nancy, to the way he welcomed everyday Americans into his office, and especially her own inspiring journey as one of the president's closest aides--are a powerful vision of positive leadership. I cannot recommend this book enough."—JonGordon, bestselling author of The Energy Bus
- "As a friend and colleague of President Reagan, I know how close Peggy was to him and her account of such a privileged association makes for a marvelous and exciting read. For anyone interested in finding out what Ronald Reagan was really like, up-close and personal, Peggy's book is an absolute must read. I found it fascinating and revealing from beginning to end!"—The Right HonorableBrian Mulroney, former Prime Minister of Canada
- "We all have the ability to stand out in a crowd-to use our personality to our natural advantage, fascinate others, and make a difference. The President Will See You Now illustrates how true this is not only for its subject, Ronald Reagan, who achieved the highest office in our land, but also for its author, Peggy Grande, who was still a college student when she landed the job of a lifetime. This is a fascinating journey inside a private world."—Sally Hogshead,New York Times bestselling author of Fascinate and Howthe World Sees You
- "Don't miss this shining book on a hill. Rather than the typical biography of our nation's 40th president that either slams him from the Left or lionizes him from the Right, Grande shows us the man in full. Unforgettable."—Ed Henry, journalistand author of 42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story
- "Peggy's book reminds us of Ronald Reagan the man as well as his presidency, surely one of the most consequential of the twentieth century. She shares the day-to-day workings of his post-presidency office and the joy of working for such an amiable, warm, and humble man, who championed American values and principles. She also shares the heartbreaking moment toward the end of his life when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and the touching note he wrote to the public in which he said, 'When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.' Pure Ronald Reagan and a beautiful story from someone who had the privilege of seeing him every day for years. A great read!"—Jim Angle, retiredChief National Correspondent, Fox News Channel
- "Peggy's book is beautifully written, and it is far more than just an intimate picture of a wonderful man. Her attention to detail is like a personal visit with the man himself. As I read through the book, often lingering on meaningful paragraphs, I felt I was reliving my long friendship with President Reagan-and that I had been given a time-capsule chance to experience his warmth and kindness again. The President Will See You Now is a wonderful book that I will savor again and again."—Pat Boone
- "A timely and revelatory reflection on the former president's conservative ideals."—Harper's Bazaar
- "[The President Will See You Now] is a tale very much worth reading...Grande is exactly the kind of sunny storyteller that, in fact, Reagan himself was.... The warm glow of Grande's memories suffuses these pages, and the book fills a lacunae in Reagan's long public life."—Open Letters Monthly
- "Takes readers on a behind-the-scenes look at the daily life of a former president... A masterfully woven account.... Peels back the layers of Reagan's persona to reveal--without having to come right out and say it--the depth of the man's honor and integrity."—American Rifleman, Official Journal of the NRA
- "Peggy Grande's memoir is the book to read on Ronald Reagan's post-presidential years.... Among the most unique and touching [books] ever done on the man... A fascinating and at times even beautiful portrait by someone clearly called to do what she did.... Kudos to Peggy Grande. She has given us a wonderful work on the final years of Ronald Reagan that she alone could have delivered."—The American Spectator
- On Sale
- Feb 6, 2018
- Page Count
- 280 pages
- Hachette Books