- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc; First Edition edition (August 30, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 078527023X
- ISBN-13: 978-0785270232
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,016,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In The Words Of Ronald Reagan: The Wit, Wisdom, And Eternal Optimism Of America's 40th President First Edition Edition
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I suppose the main thing, as a moderate, that I personally have against Republicans, is that, though I throroughy DO agree with the philosophy of being able, proudly and individually, (and WITHOUT any meddling of government telling one what to do), to "pull oneself up by one's bootstraps", it seems that many Republicans tend to forget that there are MANY people who CAN'T pull themselves up by their theoretical bootstraps....simply because they have no shoes! Democrats take a different tack on this -- one I also enormously dislike. Yes -- they will give "shoes to the shoeless".....but they will NOT allow the people they are "helping" to CHOOSE their own shoes. If you are "helped" by a social-service agency, it seems, THEY tell you what to study, and/or what type of job you "should" be doing.
So -- I guess, though I can see good things in both the Democratic and Republican philosophies, I also can see definite negatives in each. Being neither a complete Democrat, nor a complete Republican, I feel I am free to admire the best people of each party.... I admire Jimmy Carter, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Regan.........just to name a few.
This small volume, IN THE WORDS OF RONAOLD REAGAN, by his son (with first wife Jane Wyman), is a fascinating little book! You can tell it was put together with love and devotion....and the reader, perusing its riches, can only wish it were longer.
The picture of Ronald Reagan on the front cover, and the smaller one of Micahel Reagan, on the back inside bookjacket flap, are in "shiny" print....in a very good facimilie of an actual photograph. Within this book, interspersed between Ronald Reagan's words of wisdom and wit, are 28 additional photographs, portraying everything from a photo of the Regan family in 1915, (Ronald with his parents and brother Neil), to Mr. Reagan, as President of the US, inspecting sailors at the recomissioning of the USS New Jersey in 1982. Pictures are also present of the 1982 Inauguation, Mr. Regan's acting and football-playing days, meetings with world leaders, Mr. Regan on horseback and two very different pictures, taken seconds apart, on the day of the assassination attempt on Mr. Reagan.
After a heart-felt and proud introduction by the compiler, Michael Regan, 62 categories of Ronald Reagan's words are given.....from "Acting", "Age",
"Alzheimer's" and "America".....to "Education", "Faith, "Family" and "Football",.....through "Marriage", "Memorials", "Morality" and "Nancy",....to "Truth", "Values", "Veterans", and "Welfare State", to name just a few. Each category has at least one, and often
more, memorable quotes.
Mr. Regan's pithy, folksy, common-sense words cannot help but make one think....and even, however grudgingly, admire him. I doubt that any American, of any political stripe, can argue with these quotes....although one does tend to add one's own interpretion to them:
.........." In America, our origins matter less than our destination,
.......... and that is what democracy is all about." (America)
.........." History teaches that wars begin when governments believe
.......... the price of agression is cheap." (Defensse)
.........." They say the world has become too complex for simple answers.
.......... They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are
.......... simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know
.......... is morally right." (Morality) (( Of course, everyone has
a different idea of what "morality" really is, from, say, pro-choice people, to anti-abortion people, to people who, like myself, feel it's up to each individual to choose their own way, and respect other's rights to do things with their own lives, their own way. And therein, of course, lies the conflict. But at least knowing that one should have SOME moral compass is a good idea, I think. -- comment of this reviewer. ))
But here is a statement sure to elicit sympathy from ANYONE of any politcal stripe.
.........." It's so...frustrating! I'll make a statement, and an hour
.......... later, the press or the legislators will say, 'Sure, that's
.......... what he says, but what does he mean?' I don't get it. If
.......... they could only accept that I say what I mean, it would save
.......... so much time!" (The Press)
.......... " Nothing lasts longer than a temporary government program."
.......... " You know, Senator Kennedy was at a dinner just recently,
.......... for the ninetiethy birthday party for former governor and
.......... ambassador Averell Harriman. Teddy Kennedy said that
.......... Averell's age was only half as old as Ronald Regan's ideas.
.......... And you know, he was absolutely right. The Constitution is
.......... almost two hundred years old, and that's where I get my
.......... ideas." ( The Constitution ) (( Mr. Reagan would have
.......... been a powerful lawyer, with his turn of the phrase!......
.......... ....comment by this reviewer ))
.......... Two Soviets....talking to each other. And one of them says,
.......... "What's the difference between the Soviet Constitution and
.......... the American Constitution?" And the other one said, "That's
.......... easy. The Soviet Constitution guarantees freedom of speech
.......... and freedom of gathering. The American Constitution guaran-
.......... tees freedom after speech, and freedom after gathering."
.......... (( A good thing to remember, in these days of Vladimir
.......... (( Putin's regime.....comment by this reviewer ))
.......... " Secretary William Bennett makes, I think, an interesting
.......... analogy. He says that if you serve a child a rotten
.......... hamburgerin Americal, federal, state and local agencies
.......... will investigate you, summon you, close you down, or what-
.......... ever. But if you provide a child with a rotten education,
.......... nothing happens, except that you are liable to be given
.......... more money to do it with. Well, we've discovered that
.......... money alone isn't the answer. ( Education. )
.......... (( Of course, many people have differing opin......ions on what constitutes a "good" education...........comment by this reviewer. ))
Witty, thoughtful, thought-provoking.......all of the many quotes in this
small book merit reading and thought. Some are as short as a few lines. Others go on for a page and more. All are interesting....most are brilliant. One quote -- believe it or not -- seems to me it could
easily be given at some future commencement, say, from a "StarFleet" Academy graduation! (Yes....a quote from Ronald Regan, of all people!)
.........." For two hundred years, we've lived in the future, believing
.......... that tomorrow would be be better than today, and today
.......... would be better than yesterday. I still believe that."
( The Future )
As with any person, any group or ideal, sweeping generalities make for
stereotypes and narrow-minded ideas. Ronald Reagan was far more broad-minded and future-oriented than many give him credit for. His mind was
optimistic, realistic, and full of wit. Personally, I have great admiration for the man....wishing only that he had realized that ALL people want dignity and success.....but that, again, some people cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps because, they have no shoes. Yet,
one must admit that government programs CAN cost over-much....because greedy politicians and lobbyists -- of whatever party -- get their hands in the till....and like the extra money they take out! I'm sure Mr. Reagan realized this.
Reading this book, it's obvious Mr. Reagan wanted the best for
Americans, and the best for every citizen of the world. His optimism and wit are timeless.....as demonstrated by every word of his in this book!
As with many other books concerning our 40th President; conservatives will take great pleasure in reading this one while liberals will abhor and demean it. But, regardless of one's political views, it is hard to deny the great communicator's mastery of the English language, his love for his country and its people, and the truth and wisdom of his words.
The individual offerings are short, easy to read and to pickup and put down. In fact, that is the best way to read it.....read one or two of the items, think about them a bit, and pick the book up somewhat later for another sample or two of some of Reagan's best, and most insightful remarks.
So, I turned to this simple little book of the quotable Reagan, with commentary interjected periodically by his son, Michael. The contents of the book are far from earthshattering, and it wouldn't be too hard to find much more substantive information about Reagan elsewhere. Nonetheless, this book fulfills its promise as a compilation of some of Reagan's many soundbites that provide a window into his character and heart.
The quotes are organized into categories like "Alzheimer's," "Gorbachev," "Values," etc. Within each category are a few pages of short quotes that Reagan provided in very public settings (inauguration speeches, Republican convention acceptance speeches) and more private ones (like personal notes or anecdotes that he told to his family, to which Michael would have unique access).
Ultimately, the book provides only snippets, and after seeing the frequency with which some speeches appeared (like "The Speech" in 1964 on behalf of Goldwater), I was left pining for the entire transcripts of those famous addresses. The other primary fault of the book is that it paints a rather idealistic image of Reagan's life. I understand Michael's interest in promoting the greatness of his father, but the presentation was so overly flattering as to appear a bit artificial.
Nonetheless, there are a number of quotes worth reading in this collection. I laughed out loud a number of times, and I was moved at other times. For a quick snapshot of the wit and wisdom of Ronald Reagon, this book is a good place to start.