Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Reagan Diaries - Brinkley

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
The Reagan Diaries
Abridged and Edited by Douglas Brinkley

This is the twenty-third entry for this meme, suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [The first 21 entries in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar, which has now been put on hiatus]

As I finished White House Diary by Jimmy Carter I realized that there were Ronald Reagan Diaries that picked up the story by the next president, continuing events from a different perspective. Especially when I realized there was a book edited by historian Douglas Brinkley that was available in a Kindle Edition - it had to be read next.

From Publishers Weekly - on

The diaries our 40th president kept while in office—edited and abridged by historian Brinkley (The Great Deluge)—are largely a straightforward political chronicle. Reagan describes meetings with heads of state and antiabortion leaders, reflects on legislative strategy and worries about leaks to the press. He often used his diary to vigorously defend his polices: for example, after a 1984 visit with South African archbishop Desmond Tutu (whom Reagan calls "naïve"), the president explained why his approach to apartheid—"quiet diplomacy"—was preferable to sanctions. Reagan sometimes seems uncomfortable with dissent, as when he is irked by a high school student who presents a petition advocating a nuclear freeze. And he often sees the media as a "lynch mob," trying to drum up scandal where there is none. Reagan's geniality shines through in his more quotidian comments: he muses regularly about how much he appreciates Nancy, and his complaints about hating Monday mornings make him seem quite like everyone else. Brinkley doesn't weigh down the text with extensive annotation; this makes for smooth reading, but those who don't remember the major political events of the 1980s will want to refer to the glossary of names. Reagan's diaries are revealing, and Brinkley has done historians and the broad public a great service by editing them for publication. (May 22)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Happy Reading,

Bill  ;-)


  1. My husband really enjoyed reading Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs. It isn't a diary--but it provided a nice first person perspective.

  2. Grant's were partiulcarly good. Yes. Thank you, Sheryl. ;-)