Book Review: The Reagan Diaries by Ronald Reagan

I read The Reagan Diaries when they first came out and had occasion to reread them not long ago when I had nothing better to do.  I mainly read the book, not because I am a rabid Reagan conservative, although I have been so accused, but because Reagan was president when I was a kid in Junior and High School and he is also the first political figure who I really paid any attention to while they were in office.  I vaguely remember Carter being president, but only because my dad got angry every time his name was mentioned.  I learned some of my first curse words when Carter would come on TV. 🙂

Reagan was a pretty earth-shaking figure who broke America out of its post-Vietnam malaise and made us realize what a great country we are again.  For that alone he should be on the list of great presidents.  He is also an almost endless font of pithy quotations.  But enough about the man and more about the book.

The book itself consists of Reagan’s entries into his personal diary while he was president. The thing that came through to me while reading the diary entries was the depth of sincerity in them.  He truly believed he was doing what he did for the right reasons and his humanity, faith, and earnestness come through in his words.  A person does not have to agree with him to realize that he was a selfless person who became president out of a desire to serve his nation instead of personal aggrandizement.  The Reagan that you get to know through his diary entries is a man like the rest of us and not a conniving politician as he is often made out to be.

I found the Reagan Diaries to be enjoyable to read and the glimpse they provide into the Reagan administration is illuminating because he is writing for his own benefit and not that of posterity.  A very good book that should be of interest to anybody who follows contemporary politics and wants to get to know the man behind so much rhetoric tossed around in the present.