It’s said that history is the telling of events that shaped who we were, what we have become and what we may well be. In “Reagan: The Life,” internationally acclaimed historian H.W. Brands narrows that broad philosophy into the definitive narrative of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, from 1981 until 1989, and its effects on the world. It’s the Bee Book Club choice for June.
Brands is the author of 25 histories, biographies and political works translated into nine languages, noted for their rich anecdotes and accessibility to the everyday reader. His books include two biographies nominated for Pulitzer Prizes: “The First American” (Benjamin Franklin) and “Traitor To His Class” (Franklin Delano Roosevelt). Brands focused on California in his 2002 “The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream.”
In “Reagan,” Brands contends that the conservative actor-turned-politician “was the most consequential president of the 20th century, along with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” What really inform the storytelling, though, are the candid behind-the-scenes dramas and the handling of tense global crises.
Brands teaches at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is the Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History and where he holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History. He has a Ph.D in history, an M.S. in mathematics and an M.A. in liberal studies.
The author will appear for the Bee Book Club at 6 p.m. June 11 (doors open at 5:15 p.m.) at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. It’s a free event, but tickets are required. They are available now (limited to two per person) at www.beebuzzpoints.com. Look for more details in the June 8 Explore section. Information: (916) 321-1128. Visit the author at www.hwbrands.com.
Also coming to the Bee Book Club this year (so far) will be thriller novelist James Rollins of El Dorado Hills for “The Bone Labyrinth” (July 16), and Sara Paretsky for her next V.I. Warshawski mystery, “Brush Back” (Aug. 6). Details about those appearances will be released at later dates.
“Reagan: The Life” (Doubleday, $35, 806 pages) is offered at a 30 percent discount through June 11 at Barnes & Noble, Avid Reader at the Tower in Sacramento, Avid Reader in Davis, Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills, Time Tested Books, Underground Books, Hornet Bookstore at California State University, Sacramento, the UC Davis Bookstore and the Bookseller in Grass Valley.