Reagan Diary Set for Publication

The Gipper’s personal recollections will be made available by Rupert Murdoch’s empire:

HarperCollins Plans to Publish Reagan’s Diary (NYT | RSS)

HarperCollins Publishers has acquired global rights to publish a diary by Ronald Reagan that spans his eight years as president, the company said yesterday. The rights were sold by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation for an undisclosed amount.

Mr. Reagan wrote in the diary every day that he was president, noting his thoughts on the events and people he dealt with, and he gave the diary to the foundation after leaving office, said Frederick J. Ryan Jr., chairman of the board at the foundation.

“It is a very candid insight into Ronald Reagan’s thinking and his view of the presidency,” Mr. Ryan said. “It is very open in his assessments of various world leaders that he dealt with while in office.”

Surely, such sentiments are partial. But they are confirmed:

The Reagan diaries are impressive. Arthur Liman, who prosecuted Iran-Contra and saw huge extracts from them, agreed with me. And a member of the Iran-Contra Congressional Committee who is a lifelong liberal Democrat and had always despised Reagan as a low-brow, told me that seeing the diaries completely changed his attitude. He realized he was dealing with a truly well-equipped and thoughtful president.

Then again, the confirmation comes from the author of Dutch, so you might want to take it with a grain of salt.

FILED UNDER: The Presidency, Uncategorized, , , , ,
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. Dean Esmay says:

    Nah, no need to take it with a grain of salt. If you just pick up and leaf through In His Own Hand, a collection of essays he personally wrote by hand over a period of about 10 years before he became President, plus a handful written during and after his Presidency, you’ll see the same thing.

    “In His Own Hand” is particularly interesting as it includes even his scratched-out parts and notes to himself, even the occasional misspellings and whatnot. Thus you see him “in the raw” if you will. And the way he comes across is… hmmm. How to say it?

    “Deep thinker” isn’t quite the right word, but “shallow” would be absolutely wrong too. Instead what comes out is a thoughtful, well informed, coherent, slightly corny but sincere, and rather nimble mind. Firm in his core convictions, and very much a do-er and not a talker.

    I would expect to see little but the same in his personal diaries, although I would expect it to be somewhat more dark and somber at times, at least during the worst moments.

    I imagine it also utterly shatters the image of him as a senile, barely-aware fool–which everyone in his administration has always insisted was nonsense, but which his critics still cling to.