“I was privileged to serve in the Eisenhower and Reagan administrations, and during those years I had the opportunity to observe that Ike and Reagan were very much alike in a number of ways. Both were smarter than people thought, they were comfortable in their own skins, and they were skillful in getting things done. Kopelson sheds new light on a neglected side of Reagan’s development into an astute statesman.” The Honorable George P. Shultz, Secretary of State under President Reagan, was Senior Staff Economist on President Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers. He is the winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Reagan Distinguished American Award, and the Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service.

“In Reagan’s 1968 Dress Rehearsal, Gene Kopelson has provided an extensively detailed and carefully documented account of Ronald Reagan’s first foray into presidential candidacy. Particularly fascinating is the author’s original research, which reveals how a highly successful president of a prior era–Dwight David Eisenhower–provided invaluable advice and encouragement to Reagan, which helped to shape the leadership and accomplishments of our 40th president.” The Honorable Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General, is The Heritage Foundation’s Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus and wrote With Reagan: The Inside Story.

“Ronald Reagan really did run for president in 1968. Historian Kopelson weaves an intricate and fascinating look at how Reagan first sought the leadership of the free world. A must-read for anyone interested in Reagan history.” Thomas C. Reed was the 11th Secretary of the Air Force, Special Assistant to President Reagan for National Security Policy, and wrote The Reagan Enigma: 1964-1980.

“Gene Kopelson has been on a one-man singular crusade to enlighten America and the world about the fascinating and forgotten relationships between Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower and Robert F. Kennedy. His research is very important. He has collected information that has flatly eluded history and most biographers of Reagan. Future scholars of these three men will not be able to ignore what Gene has found and reported here.” Paul Kengor, Ph.D. is professor of political science at Grove City College and author of six books on Ronald Reagan and his presidency.

“One might have thought that everything that could be said about Eisenhower and Reagan had been said. Not true. In an original contribution to the literature on the two men, Gene Kopelson shows that Eisenhower was an important mentor to Ronald Reagan.” Fred I. Greenstein, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University, wrote The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader, The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to Barack Obama, and edited The Reagan Presidency: An Early Assessment.

“Gene Kopelson has done the important work which eluded many others. Ronald Reagan’s first run for president was an important dress rehearsal, in many ways setting the stage for 1976 and, ultimately, the revolutionary election of 1980. Bravo!” Craig Shirley is a renowned Reagan historian and the author of Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All, Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America, and Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan.

“Addictively interesting!” Fred Barnes is the executive editor of The Weekly Standard, a contributor to Fox News Channel, and was co-host of The Beltway Boys. Barnes was one of the moderators for the second 1984 presidential debate between President Reagan and former Vice-President Walter Mondale.

“Kopelson’s book is an absolute must-read.” Daily Wire http://www.dailywire.com/news/3575/review-reagans-1968-dress-rehearsal-ike-rfk-and-aaron-bandler

“Provocative…(One of Ike’s) greatest contributions may have been in mentoring Ronald Reagan…Opens up a new perspective on Reagan.” NewsMax Magazine March, 2016

“Rich in research and detail, Mr. Kopelson is to be commended for his scholarship. For fellow historians, the work is invaluable…Delves deeply into the relationship between the former actor and the former president and five-star general, Dwight David Eisenhower, and no doubt there is new scholarship there…Kopelson has done an invaluable service, providing a look inside a previously underreported campaign…That makes this book important.” Craig Shirley, The Washington Times


“Kopelson’s book covers much new material and is credible as a reference work…Gene Kopelson’s treatment of Governor Reagan’s short-lived 1968 run for the presidency brings new insights into the Reagan of the 1950s and 1960s, as his political philosophy was crystallizing into the principled conservatism we remember…If you want to learn much more about the much ignored first Reagan for President campaign, featuring many interviews, insights and disclosures such as Eisenhower’s active role in Reagan’s development, then Gene Kopelson’s…book is for you.” Herb Stupp, former federal regional administrator in the Reagan administration Daily Caller 5/26/2016


Instapundit April 24, 2016


Princeton University Alumni Weekly 5/6/2016


Conservative Book Club




Featured Reagan book: Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research Reagan Bookshelf

Kopelson “successfully makes the argument that Reagan contacted the former president after the 1964 presidential elections and saw Ike as a mentor for the next five years until Ike’s death. In addition, Reagan’s 1968 Dress Rehearsal references almost every pertinent document, published oral histories that discusses Reagan’s attempt to win the 1968 Republican nomination for president. Kopelson also conducted considerable number of oral histories with central characters…These contributions are substantial.” Oct. 26, 2016


Columbia Medicine Magazine


“Kopelson’s account is copiously researched to the last small detail and an important addition to the library of Reagan studies.” Fred Barnes

The Weekly Standard, Oct. 10, 2016


The New York Post Op-Ed

“Historical Revelation: Ike was Reagan’s Real Mentor”


Michael Barone, American Enterprise Institute 8/3/2017

“And as Gene Kopelson has revealed in his book, “Reagan’s 1968 Dress Rehearsal,” Eisenhower, in his post-presidential years, had several serious meetings with Reagan and may have regarded him as a worthy successor.”


Michael Barone, The American Conservative 9/28/2017

“Reagan…struck up a friendly mentee/mentor relationship with the post-presidential Eisenhower, as documented by Seattle physician Gene Kopelson…The secrecy of his 1960s relationship with Eisenhower—no one before Kopelson unearthed it…”


Steve Hayward, Claremont 8/17/2017

“Gene Kopelson has argued that Dwight Eisenhower was Reagan’s most decisive influence and model”


Lee Edwards, Claremont Review of Books, 10/23/2017

“We are indebted to Gene Kopelson…for discovering the little-known and significant connection between Reagan and Eisenhower. In a 939-page opus,…Kopelson carefully traces the “hidden mentor-protege relationship.”..Kopelson’s three years of scrupulous research and writing…Kopelson has every reason to be proud of his impressive scholarly achievement.”