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Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America (Biography) Paperback – October 22, 2001
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A top advisor to Ronald Reagan once remarked of his boss: "He knows so little and accomplishes so much." Reagan, in His Own Hand will show that the 40th president knew far more than some people have given him credit for. It collects Reagan's recently discovered writings from the late 1970s, when he delivered more than a thousand radio addresses. He wrote about two-thirds of these himself, in longhand on yellow legal paper. "In writing these daily essays on almost every national policy issue during the 1970s, Reagan was acting as a one-man think tank," suggest the editors. This edition reproduces everything faithfully, right down to the spelling mistakes and crossed-out words. And it offers a compelling look at the ideas and principles that animated one of the most important Americans of the 20th century. In one address, Reagan describes his contribution to a time capsule:
I wrote of the problems we face here in 1976--The choice we face between continuing the policies of the last 40 yrs. that have led to bigger & bigger govt, less & less liberty, redistribution of earnings through confiscatory taxation or trying to get back on the original course set for us by the Founding Fathers.... On the international scene two great superpowers face each other with nuclear missiles at the ready--poised to bring Armageddon to the world.Often his rhetoric is admirably forthright: "Calling a communist a liar when he is one is pretty frustrating. How do you insult a pig by calling it a pig?.... Fidel Castro is a liar." And there are frequent glimpses of his later achievements, such as the foreshadowing of his desire to build the Strategic Defense Initiative: "If the Soviets should push the button our magnificent warning system would immediately detect the launch of their missiles.... But there is no defense against them--no way to prevent nuclear devastation of their targets here in the U.S."
The bulk of the book comprises these radio addresses, but a concluding section includes everything from a short story Reagan wrote as a school assignment when he was 14 (it earned him a B+) to his memorable letter in 1994 revealing his Alzheimer's disease. This book will enthrall Reagan's devotees, and even his toughest critics will concede he had a way with words. No wonder they called him "The Great Communicator." --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Ronald Reagan is a puzzle: How, many wonder (and as Shultz puts it in his foreword), could he know so little and accomplish so much? The editors of this volume (two former Reagan advisers [Anderson and Anderson] and a historian [Skinner]) believe the question can be answered through Reagan's own writings. Associates describe Reagan as constantly writing, whether at home or in a hotel room, in a car or on a plane, recording his thoughts on the issues of the day. The product was almost always some form of public address, written and edited by hand. A collection of these manuscripts is presented here, just as Reagan wrote them, including his corrections and notes. With a few exceptions, they are very short radio commentaries delivered during the pre-presidential period (1975-1979), focusing mostly on foreign policy and the economy, and framed in terms of the general issue of government and freedom. There are no surprises; whether one sees Reagan as the great communicator, articulating deeply held convictions through the expression of simple but profound truths, or as the not-too-bright actor, painting a complex world in the reductionistic tones of black and white, one's expectations will be confirmed. In foreign policy Reagan is the essential Cold Warrior, understanding the world in terms of an "ideological struggle" between Communism and the proponents of freedom. In domestic policy he is the committed capitalist, always suspicious of government regulation and critical of taxation, and not above propagating theories of Communist conspiracy. Indeed, the uniformity of his outlook is quite remarkable, and whether one considers this a strength or a weakness this volume drives home the single-mindedness of the former president. (Feb. 6)Forecast: Given Reagan's enduring popularity, this could find a broad market, and a five-city author tour may pique readers' interest. Primarily, however, the book will appeal to serious students of history trying to put Reagan's ideas and ideology in historical context. First serial to the New York Times Magazine.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The editors of this collection rightfully describe Reagan as "a one-man think tank." His insights on why Communism would inevitably disintegrate alone justifies the purchase of this work. Reagan's detractors were upset when the President called the now defunct Soviet Union an "evil empire." Nevertheless, Reagan refused to mealy mouth the truth. In the end Reagan insisted that we stay the course in our opposition to World Communism. A weaker but still dangerous Soviet Union might still exist today had it not been for President Reagan. He was proven correct and his opponents should have the integrity to admit their errors in judgment. The great leader also clearly understood the values of Democratic Capitalism. Some may legitimately nit-pick Reagan on some of the specifics, but substantially he was on target. Reagan's own words reveal a profound realization that dire poverty can only be eradicated by an essentially free economic system; government policies may be well meaning, but inadvertently often do more harm than good.
Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest Presidents in our nation's history. Even many professional Liberal historians are favorably reevaluating Reagan's Presidency. --Reagan, In His Own Hand--deserves a prominent place in one's library. These radio commentaries allow us to more fully comprehend how fortunate we were that Ronald Reagan lead our nation during such a crucial era.
What I liked about this book was Reagan's writing. He was quick, to the point and consistent. You have to admire a politician that rarely waivers from his views, even if you do not agree with them. You might not have agreed with this man, but his views on the Soviet were the same when he took office as they were in his writing. The same with China, Panama, Isreal and economics.
In his writing, you see that this is a more thoughtful man than he is portrayed by others. I am sure he was more capable of having an intelligent conversation than people believed. While I would not have called Reagan a 'policy wonk', he communicated his views and ideas far better than Clinton-a man who acts like he knows he is smart.
I've read other Reagan bios and letters and memoirs of other Presidents-Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Bush and Clinton. I liked the Ambrose series on Nixon best, but this comes real close.
Anyone who is considering running for office should read this book. Reagan showed the way on how to explain complicated ideas in basic terms. All politicians of all views could learn a lot from him.
Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America (Biography)
I heard so many comments about Reagan's era, I wanted to learn more about it. I was a child for most of his Presidency and wanted to know more about why this leader is so revered. This book is written in his own hand, so I wanted to know his personal perspective. At first, I wondered if he had hired someone else to write the book or if it was penned in his own hand. In fact this book written by him. This book delves deeply into his opinion and thoughts on communism. He addressed communism with strength and integrity and refused to back down helping keep democracy alive and well. This book also gives you insight into times before he was President. I consider Ronald Reagan one of our greatest political leaders and Presidents of my lifetime, and this book is a wonderful piece of history that I now own in my personal library. This book helped me to understand how fortunate we were to have him as a President and leader of our country.