Twenty Years Later, Still Clueless

A book of letters by Ronald Reagan, written while he was President, is about to be published, with Nancy Reagan’s cooperation. A sampling of the letters are reproduced in this week’s Time magazine. The letters are said to be newly discovered, but I haven’t yet seen a coherent explanation of how this could be, or where they were found.
In any event, the book’s publication is the occasion for another round of misunderestimating Reagan. Here is what Associated Press has to say; its words will be picked up by hundreds of newspapers:
“A new book about Reagan’s letters to friends, family and even fellow world leaders, produced with the cooperation of Nancy Reagan and excerpted in this week’s Time magazine, suggests Reagan was more involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of the presidency than some of his critics and former aides have suggested.”
Gee, d’ya think? After twenty years one might expect this kind of cluelessness to abate. But that would be expecting too much, apparently, from the nation’s scribes and opinion-makers. The photo that accompanies the AP dispatch is lousy, so I substituted this one.
BIG TRUNK adds: Today’s Washington Post Book World carries a review of the book — Ronald Reagan: A Life in Letters — by Reagan biographer Edmund Morris: “White House correspondent.” Morris’s review is so full of bile that it seems another manifestation of the inner struggles that destroyed his biography, but its description of the book is of some interest.


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