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Reagan’s diaries to be published

Harper-Collins
has announced that it will publish President Reagan’s diaries, "the most detailed presidential diaries in America’s history".

HarperCollins said it had signed a deal with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation for world rights to publish the diaries.

They will be displayed at the presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

"Each day during his eight years in the White House, Ronald Reagan recorded his innermost thoughts and observations in his personal diary," said Frederick Ryan Jr, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

"Although they were not initially intended for publication, we feel that these volumes offer an unprecedented insight into the Reagan presidency."

Discussions - 5 Comments

Andrew Sullivan once made this odd comment about Allan Bloom: "How I wish I’d had the chance to meet him - the ultimate Nietzschean conservative. The novel, Ravelstein, by Bloom’s friend, Saul Bellow, made me long to have been at some point within Bloom’s world. But hearing Kirkpatrick reminisce made it worse. " (here)here

Sorry, I meant that first comment to be addressed to the Andrew Sullivan post above. - Tom

Tom; like we haven’t all been guilty off that error! :)

Seriously, though, in relation to this post, this sounds like another must have book, along with the collection of Reagan’s radio addresses called Reagan in His Own Words, collected by Kiron Skinner, and Annelise and Martin Anderson; a must-read for those who think that someone else made up Reagan’s policies.

I’m kind of torn on this issue (the Reagan Diaries). Although I know it to be a great insight into the Reagan Administration, I must ask myself a few simple questions. The first of which being; do we really need the further insight into the Reagan Administration? And the second question being; what would former-President Reagan think if he knew his diaries, his most personal thoughts, were being released to the public eye? I know that I, for one, would not want something of mine, of such a personal level, to be made public. Perhaps the Media really is delving too deeply into peoples’ personal lives nowadays?

There was a time when FDR went to great lengths to hide his polio, and the media willingly conceded to that. Now, in these times "ruled" by the Media Elite, there is talk of releasing a president’s most personal thoughts to the world? Today it would be nearly impossible to hide a president’s disease from the world. Evidence to this claim can be found here where there is a detailed web-site of every American presidents’ medical history.

It is easy to argue that the readily availabe information nowadays (as a resuly of the internet) makes it easier to know virtually everything there is to know about a person, especially those in power. To that simple fact I would ask this; when will people learn the limits of the information they seek? In other words, is there no shame? Sure, the information is readily availabe. But should it really be that way? Perhaps people ought to learn when to back off and leave a man’s personal business his own. Not everyone else’s.

Everyone knew of FDR’s handicap, and yet the media of his day did not focus on it at all. In fact, the contrary is true. They left it alone (for the most part) simply because it was the wish of the man.

I ask those of you who are in favor of releasing Reagan’s personal diaries this question; how can it benefit the country in any way? The man’s administration is past, the man has past (most unfortunately for most of us, and yet perhaps not so for him). In what ways will releasing his personal diaries change any of that? Or how will it change his accomplishments during his reign? The answer is obvious. The past cannot be changed, this is not 1984 we’re talking about here. The only thing it might change down the road are the high school text books’ take on Reagan. Even that I rather doubt, but then again, I probably have a bit of a bias against text books as it is.

Just some thoughts for all of you to consider, hopefully with an open-mind.

Christopher, you might as well ask the usefulness of history. Assuming that this diary is the property of Nancy, and that she is still protecting his image (the thing she always did best), I doubt there’s much in them that is harmful to either his reputation or to American history. We learn an enormous amount about political leaders through their personal writings (e.g., letters, diaries, family photos)...it’s part of history. Regardless, such things really can’t be hidden forever...interest in political leaders is just too intense.

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