Historic and deeply revealing, these are the personal diaries kept by Ronald Reagan during his time in the White House (1981-89).
During his eight years as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary, in which he recorded his innermost thoughts and observations. The handwritten diaries have been seen by only a few people to date, and they share Reagan's personal insights into the extraordinary, the historic, and the routine day-to-day events of his Presidency. ‘When we left Sacramento, we felt the time passed so quickly, we could hardly remember the eight years,’ said Nancy Reagan. ‘When Ronnie became president, he wanted to write it all down so we could remember these special times.’
From his first inauguration to weekends at Camp David to the end of the Cold War, these Presidential diaries are the most detailed in American history, filled with Reagan's trademark wit, sharp intelligence, and humour. They offer the deep warmth of his voice, while shedding new light on the character of a true American leader. To read these diaries is to gain a unique understanding of the Oval Office and one of the greatest presidents in American history.
Reagan describes meetings with heads of state and international statesmen (including the Queen, Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and Fidel Castro). His geniality shines through, while his marriage to Nancy and his strong relationship with God emerge clearly as the cornerstones of his life.
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'Amusing and enlightening…I quite simply couldn't put them down.' Sunday Times
'What emerges from these pages is the remarkable character of Ronald Reagan himself. He was what he seemed to be, so fundamentally decent and sunny that it is hard to figure how the American political system could have produced such a genial leader.' Sunday Telegraph
'Reagan's handwritten summary of almost every day of his 1981-89 presidency shows more clearly than ever before the way his mind worked…On the whole, it worked pretty well – especially in his cold-war policy.' The EconomistFrom the Publisher:
Ronald Reagan is probably the only American president in
history who kept a detailed, handwritten diary every day - day in and day
out - for eight years. As more and more time goes by, his presidency seems
to loom larger and larger and is increasingly recognized as one of the most
important we've ever had. Reagan himself has also proved to be such an
enigma that no biographer has ever come close to capturing him, including
his authorized biographer Edmund Morris, whose fictionalized approach was
such a disaster that it's unlikely anyone else will even try anytime soon.
This is part of what makes the appearance of Reagan's private diaries such
a major, highly-anticipated publication - it's the genuine article, with
all of his thoughts and feelings about what was going on behind the scenes,
and all of it written unsparingly, in his own words. It'll most likely be
seen as a book that sheds new light on Reagan's character and intelligence
as well as the extent of his involvement in some of the most complicated
and critical moments during his time in the White House. From his first
inauguration to weekends at Camp David to the end of the Cold War, these
Presidential diaries are the most detailed in American history, filled with
Reagan's trademark wit, sharp intelligence, and humor. They offer the deep
warmth of his voice, while shedding a new light on the character of a true
American leader. To read these diaries is to gain a unique understanding of
the Oval Office and one of the greatest presidents in our nation's
There are literally thousands of pages of diary entries on record, and the
Reagan Foundation has asked Douglas Brinkley to be the official editor of
the project. He sifted through and selected only the very best entries for
the book to make it as lively and compelling as possible. No part of the
diaries have ever been published before, and only a handful of scholars
with special access at the Reagan Library have actually seen them.
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