Off the Shelf: Jeffrey L. Chidester and Stephen F. Knott

Jeffrey L. Chidester and Stephen F. Knott, Miller Center of Public Affairs, "At Reagan's Side: Insiders' Recollections from Sacramento to the White House." Rowman & Littlefield.

What Insiders Said About Ronald Reagan

June 10, 2009 — "At Reagan's Side" offers unique, behind-the-scenes glimpses into the candidacies and elections of Ronald Reagan, through excerpts of interviews with top Reagan officials. The interviews are part of the Ronald Reagan Oral History Project at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs, which is led by the authors, Jeffrey L. Chidester and Stephen F. Knott.

Chidester chairs the Miller Center's National Discussion and Debate Series. Knott is now associate professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College.

In "At Reagan's Side," Knott and Chidester show readers the life of the "Great Communicator" through the eyes of both famous and lesser-known administration insiders, including James Baker, Edwin Meese, Peter Hannaford, Caspar Weinberger and Joanne Drake.

"The force of Reagan's character and outsized personality has made us overlook the important role and knowledge of his supporting cast," Steven F. Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute said. "Jeffrey Chidester and Stephen Knott have performed a valuable service in synthesizing the extensive oral histories they compiled over the last decade."

"The primary-source information in this book is a treasure trove of must-read material on President Reagan," wrote reviewer Paul Kengor, author of "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism."

Knott and Chidester also published "The Reagan Years" with Facts on File in 2005.