During his two terms as the fortieth president of the United States, Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary in which he recorded, by hand, his innermost thoughts and observations on the extraordinary, the historic, and the routine day-to-day occurrences of his presidency. Now, nearly two decades after he left office, this remarkable record—the only daily presidential diary in American history—is available for the first time.
Brought together in one volume and 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 Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II, Mohammar al-Qaddafi, and Margaret Thatcher, among others, and the unforgettable moments that defined the era—from his first inauguration to the end of the Cold War, the Iran hostage crisis to John Hinckley Jr.'s assassination attempt.
The Reagan Diaries reveals more than just Reagan's political experiences: many entries are concerned with the president's private thoughts and feelings—his love and devotion for Nancy Reagan and their family, his belief in God and the power of prayer. Seldom before has the American public been given access to the unfiltered experiences and opinions of a president in his own words, from Reagan's description of near-drowning at the home of Hollywood friend Claudette Colbert to his determination to fight Fidel Castro at every turn and keep the Caribbean Sea from becoming a "Red Lake."
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.
About the Author
Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States.
Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University, CBS News Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him "America's new past master." Seven of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Cronkite won the Sperber Prize for Best Book in Journalism and was a Washington Post Notable Book of the Year 2012. The Great Deluge won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children. Brinkley has been awarded honorary doctorates from Trinity College (Connecticut), University of Maine, Hofstra University, and Allegheny College, among many others.
Patricia Daniels is an author and editor for National Geographic who has written, edited, or contributed to books on history, science, and geography, most recently the "National Geographic Encyclopedia of Space." She lives in State College, Pennsylvania.
Stephen G. Hyslop has been a writer and editor for Time-Life Books and National Geographic, as well as author of "Bound for Santa Fe" and "Chroniclers of Indian Life." He lives in Virginia.
Douglas G. Brinkley is the director of the Theodore Roosevelt Center for American Civilization and Professor of History at Tulane University. He authored two "New York Times" Best Sellers: "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War" and "Voices of Valor: D-Day; June 6, 1944." He is the official historian for "NBC News." Dr. Brinkley is contributing editor for the "Los Angeles Times Book Review" and "American Heritage" and a contributor to the "New York Times"and "The New Yorker."