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Download Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan Audiobook, by James Swallow Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (821 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Swallow, Del Quentin Wilber, Del Quentin Wilbur Narrator: Fred Berman, Jason Culp Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781427212603
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A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011

On March 30, 1981, President Reagan walked out of a hotel in Washington, D.C. and was shot by a would-be assassin. For years, few people knew the truth about how close the president came to dying, and no one has ever written a detailed narrative of that harrowing day. Now, drawing on exclusive new interviews, Del Quentin Wilber tells the electrifying story of a moment when the nation teetered on the brink of chaos. With cinematic clarity, we see the Secret Service agent whose fast reflexes saved the president's life; the brilliant surgeon who operated on Reagan as he was losing half his blood; and the small group of White House officials frantically trying to determine whether the country was under attack. Most especially, we encounter the man code-named Rawhide, a leader of uncommon grace who inspired affection and awe in everyone who worked with him.

Reagan was the only serving U.S. president to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. In Rawhide Down, the story of that perilous day--a day of chaos, crisis, prayer, heroism and hope--is brought to life as never before.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The reporting is presented with precision and authority by Jason Culp. For the most part, his reading has few vocal characterizations, but the brief direct quotes from Reagan are delivered spot-on. Culp's voice is easygoing and warm, and surprisingly, those characteristics are at their most gripping in the chapters that address the president's initial care at George Washington University Hospital. AudioFile Magazine

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally Knotwell | 2/19/2014

    " Interesting read. Tons of information not released to the public at the time of the assassination. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 2/9/2014

    " I just read this last week when I was on my cruise. It was really good! I enjoyed getting a behind the scenes look at how the Secret Service works. I wish it hadn't ended so abruptly, I felt it could have gone into a bit more detail at the end. But it was definitely worth reading! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 1/31/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book as someone who worked in DC the last several years. I obviously knew the story of the attack on Reagan, but the author did an excellent job filling on the details. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 1/25/2014

    " Very interesting. I love well written history that makes events come alive. I recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/24/2014

    " Fascinating to get the "whole" story. I love Ronald Reagan! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon Schnorenberg | 1/22/2014

    " I have a new appreciation for the courage of Ronald Reagan after reading this (I know my wife will love to hear that!)...A thrilling account of this near tragedy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 1/22/2014

    " It feels a bit strange to read a history book that I have lived through, but heck, I'm almost 40 so guess it shouldn't. Since I was only a kid when Reagan was shot, it was very interesting to read about all of the details of that day. It brought back vague memories and grounded them in historical fact. Wiber's recounting moves fast and reads like a fiction plot. Very well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 12/28/2013

    " This was a great book! I really learned a ton about something I knew nothing about in the first place. The way it was written made it interesting. I wasn't bored learning facts at all. Really recommend it for anyone trying to learn more about Reagan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurene Burchell | 12/15/2013

    " I enjoyed this book - never knew all the details of the assassination attempt.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Bierma | 12/6/2013

    " I found this book fascinating! To read the accounts of everyday citizens called upon to do their normal work on an extraordinary patient was really interesting. I've always loved President Reagan but after this book I find him even more charming. Great book about a slice in our American history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephkc | 11/12/2013

    " An interesting behind the scenes look on what happened the day the president was shot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 11/11/2013

    " Very interesting book! I read it in two days...could not put it down. I was 13 and remember that day so vividly. It was fascinating to read all the details behind the real story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 11/6/2013

    " This is a good read about the attempt on Reagan's life - some information seems new, and the retelling of the story I witnessed in the media at the time is heightened with the passing of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Battilega | 10/16/2012

    " Great book! Loved the background information. Ronald Reagan was a classy guy. Wish we had more presidents like him! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob Dhillon | 9/26/2012

    " Having been a Thoracic Surgeon, t is quite scary to hear the lay-person's description (a very careful and painstakingly accurate one) of what happened with this nutmeg Hinckley. Reagan was agonizingly close to death! The Secret Service and GW's Surgical team did an AMAZING job!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve G. | 8/18/2012

    " Fast, great read, and felt like it ended too soon. Very well written, providing a lot of insight into some of the people's personalities that I didn't get as a kid in the 80s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 4/7/2012

    " My dad gave me this to read, and I ended up enjoying it more than I expected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 10/9/2011

    " Excellent book. Reads more like an action novel than a historical non-fiction account of the assassination attempt on President Reagan. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/31/2011

    " Very eye opening look into the day Reagan was shot. Well written, easy read about my most favorite president. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 7/30/2011

    " Fantastic. Couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 4/28/2011

    " I thought this book was interesting because I didn't know anything about the near assassination before I read this, and I learned a lot. But sometimes there was so much detail that it was hard to keep my full attention. Also, there were several F-words. I didn't appreciate that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobby Frederick | 4/28/2011

    " Worth the read. Lots of action and consistent, fast-paced narrative. Learned something new (multiple things) after reading this book. "

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About the Author
Author James Swallow

James Swallow is a bestselling author whose writing includes the Sundowners series of Western fiction steampunk novels and fiction from the worlds of Star Trek, Warhammer 40,000, Doctor Who, and Stargate, among others.

About the Narrators

Fred Berman has won numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narration and is the recipient of the 2013 Audie Award for narration in Spy the Lie. He is a theater, film, and television actor, whose credits include Broadway’s The Lion King, Law & Order, and Directing Eddie, among others. He was featured in Entertainment Weekly for his work on the Walking Dead audiobook series.

Jason Culp, winner of three AudioFile Earphones Awards, has been acting since the age of ten, and his credits include a variety of television, theater, and film roles. He is best known for his role as Julian Gerome on General Hospital. In addition to audiobooks and voice-over work in national commercials, he has also narrated documentaries for National Geographic and the History Channel.