Book Review: Ronald Reagan’s Private Collection

image courtesy

Reagan, Ronald. “The notes : Ronald Reagan’s private collection of stories and wisdom“. Harper, 2011.

I ordered The Notes by Ronald Reagan for the Ford Library after reading a favorable review by Christopher Buckley in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.  The Notes is a compilation of cites and quotes collected by Ronald Reagan for speechwriting purposes.  Beginning in the 1950’s, he found quotes from famous leaders such as Washington, Churchill and Lenin and  transcribed them by hand on 4 x 6 cards.  He added humorous time-tested one-liners that he inserted into speeches, once and again.

The cards were discovered in 2010, tucked away in a box with paperclips and rubberbands at the Reagan Library and placed on display a year later to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.  This book is a collection of the quotes.

The introduction to the book claims that there are some shockers here; for example, the book has a quote from Mao.  But this book affirms all that is well known about Reagan.  He hated taxes and communism.  He distrusted big government.   He admired Jefferson and Lincoln. Readers may find the reproduction of Reagan’s tidy handwriting on the endpapers to be interesting.   While little is new or remarkable here, the book is a quick read for Reagan admirers.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply