Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rawhide Down

I've been on a roll of awesome beach reads lately, but my reading has not just been confined to these fun, summery books. Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan by Del Quentin Wilber is an awesome non-fiction title I just finished and will be recommending to everyone. Wilber writes of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in 1981. Back in 1981 I was in the second grade, but still remember coming home from school and parking myself in a dining room chair where I proceeded to watch the news up until my bedtime(in a day before we had cable TV this meant viewing ABC, NBC or CBS' coverage of this event), learning more about what had transpired in Washington, D.C., that day. Just as most people who were alive when Kennedy was assassinated remember what they were doing back on that day in 1963, the assassination attempt on Reagan is an event in history that most people can recall.

While some non-fiction books might be dry and boring, Rawhide Down reads like a story. Wilber has done extensive research on this event, and shares not only Reagan's story, but also the stories of other people affected by it. From Secret Service agents who still busy getting to know the newly elected Commander In Chief, to Nancy Reagan (attending a luncheon that day), to Vice President Bush (on his way back from an event in Texas), and of course John Hinckley (arrived in Washington, D.C., and looking for a way to get actress Jodie Foster's attention), Wilber has detailed the events of this day for all key players. While I could have given you the general outline of the assassination attempt on Reagan, Wilber has managed to clearly explain how events unfolded.

Rawhide Down was such an informative piece of non-fiction, and yet I was entertained by it as well. This is a must read.

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