CPS books 2

Craig Shirley; Author, Historian, Lecturer


Craig Shirley is the author of two critically praised bestselling books on President Reagan, Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America and Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All. His third book December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World has appeared multiple times on the New York Times bestselling lists in December 2011 and January 2012 and was named a finalist in the “History” category for ForeWord Reviews’ and the American Library Association’s “Book of the Year Awards.” Craig is the founder of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, was chosen in 2005 by Springfield College as their Outstanding Alumnus, and has been named the First Reagan Scholar at Eureka College, Ronald Reagan’s alma mater, where he taught a course titled “Reagan 101.”

An outstanding athlete, he won nine varsity letters in high school, was named “Most Improved Athlete” his senior year, won the Cities League High School Championship in pole vaulting and later played lacrosse at Springfield.

His books have been hailed as the definitive works on the Gipper’s campaigns of 1976 and 1980. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch and has lectured at the Reagan Library, the FDR Library in Hyde Park, and the Dole Institute in Kansas.

Shirley, a widely sought after speaker and commentator, appears regularly on many network and cable shows including FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC. He has also written extensively for the Washington Post, the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, the Los Angeles Times, Town Hall, the Weekly Standard, Politico, Reuters and many other publications. He successfully predicted the results of the 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections.

Craig Shirley also edited the book Coaching Youth Lacrosse for the Lacrosse Foundation. He was also the founder of the Ft. Hunt Youth Lacrosse League and coached there for 14 years.

He is now finishing Citizen Newt, a definitive biography of Speaker Newt Gingrich and a new book on Reagan’s post-presidency days titled Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan. His future plans include work on three more Reagan books as well as a book about Dr. Howard Snyder, the personal physician to President Dwight Eisenhower and a book about the George Washington family.

Shirley and his wife, Zorine reside at “Trickle Down Point” on the Rappahannock River in Lancaster, Virginia, and are parents of four children, Matthew, Andrew, Taylor, and Mitchell. His varied interests include sailing, waterskiing, sport shooting, renovating buildings, and scuba diving. An accomplished carpenter, he has built two houses. Craig Shirley is also a member of the Reagan Alumni Association, Friends of Friendship Fire House, and the Fusionist Society. He was a decorated contract agent for the Central Intelligence Agency.


17 thoughts on “Craig Shirley; Author, Historian, Lecturer”

  1. I just finished December 1941 which is an incredible gift to any one interested in our country at the time. A most impressive book and the thought of the amount of research needed for it is overwhelming. Thank you, I think it is an important book.

  2. just reading “Reagan’s Revolution” and was wondering 10 years after writing it if you would say that today’s mainstream GOP is more like the mainstream GOP of 1976? with the Karl Roves and others bashing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. just wondering

    i’m enjoying the book!

    1. Dear Mr. Miller,

      Thanks for writing. In some ways, the party is better off today than in the 1970’s but in too many ways, it is
      worse off. For instance, many have questioned the ethics and ideology of the consulting classes that have dominance over
      the national Republican Party.

      And in the same way the Republican Establishment despised Reagan in the 1970’s, they now despise the conservative Tea Party

      The good news is the tea party represents American conservatives, integrity and accountability and they are winning the debate.

      The bad news is they still don’t control the lever of power.


      Craig Shirley

  3. Mr. Shirley,

    When do you expect “The Last Act” to be released? I thoroughly enjoyed your first two Reagan books.

    Thank you,

    Mike Sebille

  4. When will your next Reagan book be released? Rendezvous with Destiny was a masterpiece and I know the Last Act will be as well.

  5. Mr Shirley:

    Just finished listening to your recent conversation with Laura Ingraham, where you discussed the recent “US-Cuba rapprochement,” and the internal conflicts, divisions in the Republican party. I am still ruminating on your trenchant observation that today, in stark contrast to past Democrat administrations, there is not a reliable, single voice of the Republican Party. I am so discouraged. I remember what it was like when Ronald Reagan was president. Nowadays, I am starting to believe in the quasi-populist talk about how our country, in complete contravention of the Constitution, is now ruled by a well-organized goverment-and-business duopoly. I am starting to believe the populist who claims that everyday politics is just a sham exercise to distract us in the middle class from the reality of the duopoly’s ever-increasing, administrative state stranglehold.

    I shall have to read your biography of Reagan and the upcoming Gingrich biography; please tell me I will find some parallels between today and their day which will show a way to dissolve the duopoly.

    Thanks for allowing comments on your blog. Sorry for the second post; I hit the submit button accidentally before I finished.

  6. Dear Mr. Shirley,
    I watched your Fox News interview on President Reagan and thought it beautifully done. It has inspired me to seek out your books.
    However, I found your kit gloved treatment of the Progressive Liberal disgust for him miss informed, which I find hard to believe. Their destine comes from his abandonment of the Democrat party and ripping their world view to shreds in his eloquent Goldwater speech. No one, with a pure conscience, can listen to that message and walk away liberal, unless they have a Progressive agenda!!
    I have hope for you, please call out the treacherous agenda you know to be there.

    Best regards and wishes,

  7. Mr. Shirley, Am Reading your Book REAGAN”S REVOLUTION, GREAT ! & Was so Glad you raised up Citizens for the Republic, Am following CFTR Website Thank you. signed: a Proud Reagan Conservative.

  8. Mr. Shirley Am reading your Book REAGAN”S REVOLUTION ,It is Very Good ! Can’t put it Down! Congrats on Reviving CFTR !! I signed on for the e-mails but so far nothing has come. Is the website still a work in progress? Thank you Sir ! signed: A PROUD REAGAN CONSERVATIVE & A OLD VET OF THE REAGAN REVOLUTION

  9. Mr Shirley,
    I just saw a mention on Bret Baier of Fox News that you are writing a book on President Reagan to correct “the caricature presented by establishment historians”. I would like to tell you of our two special experiences with our favorite President. In 1980, during the Republican campaign, my wife and I took our two children, Jonathan 2 yrs old and Joshua less than 1 yr old, to his rally in San Antonio (I was stationed at Lackland AFB). We were not up in front as he and Mrs Reagan passed by after the speech and were shaking hands, so I held Joshua over those in front of us in hopes he would touch Joshua’s hand. He reached out to take Joshua and held him in his arms while he and Mrs Reagan talked to Joshua. As Candidate Reagan handed Joshua back to me over the people, he told us to “enjoy him while you can because he’ll grow up before you know it.” Around two years later, Joshua was diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and given five years to live because he kept getting pneumonia from the humidity. The Air Force moved our family to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we lived until I retired, because of the dry climate and the availability of outstanding medical facilities, MDA clinic, and a teaching hospital that might be on the frontier if a cure was found. In 1995, Joshua was still alive at 17 years old, so I wrote a letter to President Reagan, asking if there was any possibility that Joshua could meet him and received an answer of “yes”. Our family was extremely honored to meet with him in a private meeting in his office and he was so kind and presidential. He presented Joshua with a jar of jelly beans and spent a lot of time talking to us about his memories (e.g., as a lifeguard, an announcer, his ranch). We were requested not to tell others about our time together or show the photos while he was alive, which we respected but now, since you’re writing a book to show him as he really was, I wanted to tell you so you’ll have another private moment of his that showed how caring he was.

  10. Your comments in the Washington Post about O’Reilly’s Reagan book were appreciated.

    I find O’Reilly’s amateur bios to be quite amusing.

    Not sure what O’Reilly’s part in these books is, since he’s busy doing 50 other things.

    He has us believe that well-researched, scholarly works are easy and fast to do, though everybody else takes an inordinately long time to complete theirs.

    O’Reilly sadly depends on an ignorant audience that believes what he says, about the thoroughness of his research and everything else.

    I did like O’Reilly’s latest “Killing” tome, however, “Killing Literature.”

    I was less happy with the “No Spin Zone” Frisbee I bought from his “Factor” website…

    Take care.

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