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Reagan, in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America


Reagan, in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America


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There have been a number of misrepresentations concerning
former President Ronald Reagan that have become in some circles a
part of his reputation. This is not surprising. The dictatorships
of Hitler and Stalin were happily built upon the premise that a lie
repeated often enough becomes the stuff of truth. Two of the lesser
untruths concerning President Reagan were that 1) he didn't know
much and 2) the ideas he had were not his own. It is fortunate,
then, that the absolutely wonderful Free Press has published a
volume entitled REAGAN, IN HIS OWN HAND, which sets the record
Reagan, in the years between his governorship of California and
his Presidency, presented a series of short but vital radio
addresses addressing foreign, domestic and economic policy in the
United States. REAGAN, IN HIS OWN HAND is nothing less than a
word-for-word transcription, with edits, of these addresses as
written by Reagan himself without the aid of speechwriters or
policy wonks. Taken together, these essays reveal the development
and fruition of Reagan's vision for America. This is Reagan without
the edited sound bite, without the Canadian high school dropout
anchor's slant and interpretation. Essay after essay demonstrates
why this son of an alcoholic, failed salesman, who rose from
poverty to become the Leader --- and that's with a capital L --- of
the Free World was known first and foremost as the Great
Communicator. Some of these essays, particularly those dealing with
the return of power to the states, seem almost prescient. They were
not. Reagan simply went back to the principles that guided the
establishment of this nation and used them as a guiding
beauty of this volume, as with so many of the Free Press works, is
in its presentation. There are reproductions of Reagan's notes
(with more available at;
commentary from associates concerning Reagan's work habits; and an
exhaustive appendix of the radio addresses. The editors made a
painstaking effort to ensure the accuracy of each transcription,
even if it meant including the introduction to the commercial
break, which rarely varied from address to address. While this
becomes repetitive, it nonetheless preserves the air of
authenticity that permeates this volume from beginning to end.
There is, however, no reason to read it in that manner. Given the
relative brevity of each radio essay, the reader can open the book
at almost any point and find the beginning of an essay. The problem
is not in starting to read, but rather in finding a point to stop.
The ideas, and the presentation of same, in these short essays,
remain nothing short of compelling. In addition to Reagan's radio
essays, the volume also contains some of his works of short
fiction, personal letters, and other uncollected essays.
REAGAN, IN HIS OWN HAND is the unadulterated vision of the man
who, notwithstanding recent poll results naming him our greatest
President, has yet to be given his full due. This volume is nothing
less than absolutely wonderful for his supporters as well as for
critics who might wish to have the scales fall from their

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011

Reagan, in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America

  • Publication Date: February 6, 2001
  • Genres: Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • ISBN-10: 074320123X
  • ISBN-13: 9780743201230