While I have long compared Sarah Palin’s communication skills as well as her ability to connect with Americans to those of Ronald Reagan, I have also long noted that she lacks his (self-)education in the ideas of conservatism and free markets. To achieve his status as a leader of the right, she needs study the ideas which undergirded his political philosophy.
In her book, that accomplished Alaskan repeatedly references the Gipper and his ideas, pointing to them as the guiding principles for post GOP successes and future Republican governance. Now, she needs improve her understanding of those ideas. To that end, she would do well to read the books he read (adding into the mix various conservative “classics,” like Charles Murray’s Losing Ground, appearing since (and, to some degree, in response to) his rise).
Perhaps, some Reagan scholar — or intrepid blogger with a lot of time on his hands — could start reviewing his diaries and letter and other information about the Gipper to identify the books he read in the 1950s and 1960s as he began his move away from his longstanding affiliation with the Democratic Party and toward the GOP. (Maybe that list has already been compiled.)
I’d just love to see what he read.
As an aside, let me indicate another presidential reading list I’d like to see, the list of books that Thomas Jefferson sent to James Madison in the late 1780s while the former was in France and the latter was drafting the Constitution.
*Maybe the person who compiles the list could annotate with short summaries of the book or better yet, commentary from the Gipper himself on how the various books influenced his thought. And make it an annotated reading list.