Edited by historian Douglas Brinkley, The Reagan Diaries provides a striking insight into one of this nation's most important presidencies and sheds new light on the character of a true American leader. Whether he was in his White House residence study or aboard Air Force One, each night Reagan wrote about the events of his day, which often included his relationships with other world leaders and the unforgettable moments that defined the era.
Seldom before has the American public been given access to the unfiltered experiences and opinions of a president in his own words. To read these diaries, filled with Reagan's trademark wit, sharp intelligence, and humor, is to gain a unique understanding of one of the most beloved occupants of the Oval Office in our nation's history.
©2007 The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"Reagan's diaries are revealing, and Brinkley has done historians and the broad public a great service by editing them for publication." (Publishers Weekly)
The diaries reflect the true Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States. Not the Reagan portrayed by journalists (alternately the most dangerous man in the world or a dottering old fool). His love for this country and his firm conviction of the failure of communism are clearly evident. His mission to defeat communism is clearly the focus of his efforts. Most touching and refreshing is the devotion he has to his wife Nancy. The diaries show his humanity, faith, compassion, strength and morality.
I have read the Truman Diaries, and this cannot be compared to the rich detail and indepth history that Truman provides. However, it does give an interesting perspective of the daily life of a President and the huge issues and decisions that he faces. I'd say that it is worthwhile from that point of view, to get an overview for the 8 years that he was president. However, don't expect to get any great insights into history from this one.
If you take this audiobook at face value, yes, a lot of it is "went to meeting, talked to Mike Deaver", etc. If you read between the lines, however, you see where his heart was. His devotion to Nancy is remarkable. His ups and downs with the Soviets show raw emotion. He shares some personal family uprisings that show he was a real man, not perfect. His dedication to the diary speaks a lot to his character; he started something and finished it.
If this sounds like something you'd enjoy; you probably will. It provides interesting insights and perspectives to our 40th president. If you don't think you'd like it, you probably won't.
Proves that the RR who spoke to us on TV for 4 years was the real RR. Sincere. Loved the country he served. Worshipped his wife. Wanted to serve honorably and did so. The selections were balanced. The man's discipline showed through from year to year.
His love for Nancy.
Bring him back.
Great listen. You really get an inside look into the President.
I find myself wondering how can anyone write a negative thing about this GREAT MAN. Well sometimes writers are only half as good as the subjects they write about. I always enjoy reading or listening to books about Ronal Reagan, this one is no exception.
This is not an impressive presidential diary. It has little or no detail, no discussion, no insights. Basically, he just lists what he did on a given day. "Ate breakfast, then had meeting".
The diaries do, however, confirm some very unflatering stereotypes. Reagan praises Zaire's Mobutu and the Philippine's Marcos. He shows incredible ignorance about South Africa, writing that Tutu is "naive" to think that sanctions could ever work. He follows the polls avidly. He never analyzes his policies or decisions, rather just discusses how they affect his polling results. He blames the press for everything. He can't understand why anyone would find his Bitburg visit offensive. He makes simple minded decisions, then stubbornly sticks to them, regardless of the facts. Sounds eerily familiar.
He visits China. The only thing he mentions in his diaries is the food, and his ability to use his chopsticks.
Overall, these diaries are nothing but simple lists of his daily activities. If you're looking for any depth, this is really the wrong place.
I did not care for this book at all. It is disjointed and not very interesting. I tried to hang with it for over four hours over a week or so but finally had to give up. I'm still searching for a good book on Reagan.
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