reagan forward
the mark r. shenkman reagan research center


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hannaford book


Posted - November 22, 2011


Peter Hannaford to Discuss His New Book ‘Reagan’s Roots’ During Central Illinois Book Tour

Eureka College presentation set for Dec. 7


Ronald Reagan’s formative years in Illinois are the subject of a new book by longtime Reagan associate Peter Hannaford. The book, titled “Reagan’s Roots: The People and Places That Shaped His Character” will be unveiled during a book tour in Illinois communities, including Eureka, in early December.

Hannaford will discuss the book at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Gammon Room in Melick Library at Eureka College. Admission is $10 or $25 including a copy of the book. Hannaford will sign copies following the presentation. Due to limited seating, reservations are required by contacting the Development Office at (309) 467-6317 or registering online >

The book published by Images from the Past, Bennington, Vt., traces the development of Reagan’s character from childhood through young adulthood and examines his self-reliance, self-confidence, modesty, optimism, loyalty, tolerance, determination, good humor and reverence for God. It offers an understanding of what made Reagan a successful and beloved president.

“Ronald Reagan is thought of as a Californian, a Westerner, but the values that guided him all his life are straight out of the land where he was born and spent the first 21 years of his life: northwestern Illinois,” Hannaford said.  “He was the product of four generations of rural settlers, and the characteristics associated with him all came from his teachers, clergy, role models, the circumstances of his youth and especially his parents.”

The presentation will examine Reagan’s experiences at Eureka College, since they played a pivotal role in his maturation and the development of his talents, Hannaford said. He also will discuss decisive events in Reagan’s young years, including his discovery that he was near-sighted and the conversation with one of his role models that crystallized into his radio career.

Hannaford’s book tour in Illinois is being organized by the Ronald W. Reagan Society at Eureka College.                                                                                                                     

Hannaford is a Washington, D.C.-based public relations consultant. For 20 years, he headed the public relations firm The Hannaford Company Inc., serving a national and international clientele.                                                                                                                             

During the five years between Reagan's governorship of California and his election as president of the United States, Hannaford’s firm handled Reagan’s scheduling, political liaison and editorial support. Before that, Hannaford was assistant to the governor and director of public affairs for Gov. Reagan in Sacramento, where he supervised the press office, speech research office, community relations unit and the state's office of information services.

Hannaford's career spans more than four decades and includes senior roles in presidential campaigns and Republican National Conventions. He has written numerous articles and seven books, including four about Reagan: “The Reagans: A Political Portrait” in 1983; “Remembering Reagan,” 1994; “Recollections of Reagan,” 1997; and “The Quotable Ronald Reagan,” 1998. His other books include “Talking Back to the Media,” “My Heart Goes Home: A Hudson Valley Memoir” and “The Essential George Washington,” which is drawn from his experience as a member of the Mount Vernon Advisory Committee.




- Register and Pay Online for the Eureka College Presentation & Signing Only -

$10 per person admission / $25 with book

Total Admission:


Eureka College Event:







Michele Lehman

Media Relations Coordinator


(309) 467-6318








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lauren carlsen

Lauren Carlsen


Eureka College Sophomore Uncovers New Reagan Information for Book ‘Reagan’s Roots’


A Eureka College sophomore’s hours of work in the college Archives has resulted in new information about Ronald Reagan’s college days that will be included in a new book about Reagan’s Illinois years.  

Lauren Carlsen of Bellingham, Wash., is the student assistant at the Ronald Reagan Museum and the student assistant researcher at the college Archives. She discovered information that surprised college officials and will be included in Peter Hannaford’s book “Reagan’s Roots” that will be unveiled in a book tour in Central Illinois in early December.

Carlsen found much of the information as she examined every copy of the Pegasus student newspaper from 1928 to1932, the years Reagan attended the school.


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