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Ronald Reagan’s Reading* List

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.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m a librarian. I love books. I’ve read all of my life and that has covered decades. Ayn Rand, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Marcia Davenport, Joy Fielding, are among my favorites. Also Rowling, the Harry Potter author. Those are a few of my favorites but I’ve actually spent more time reading non-fiction.

    I’m not so sure that it is what books you have read, as to how your life experience teaches you to think.

    Obviously, Obama is not influenced by the written word but by his life experience.

    Palin would be the same. It is what you do and live and practice that make you learn and understand with comprehension.

    I’m gay, I’m Christian, and I’m Conservative.

    What my life has told me is that small government is best for all people especically when it sticks to those duties assigned to it by the Constitution.

    Anything else is an attempt to take power or control over other peopole in a cohersive manner.

    Any gay person worth their salt should be getting away from Democrats and their policies as fast as possible because the out come will not be good. Also, I would encourage others to do what I have done…tell your officials that you are gay and backing up a small government and that we are not a problem, we are part of the solution. Do not leave us out by using us as a wedge. The Dems do it to control a voting block. Don’t allow it. Open your doors to the people who are already with you.

    Comment by Libby — November 30, 2009 @ 4:22 am - November 30, 2009

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