Top 10 Ronald Reagan books

The esteem Americans have for Ronald Reagan grows stronger with the passing of time, and for good reason. Reagan’s policies and his sunny optimism helped bring America out of a recession and restore America’s prosperity, strength and confidence. He ended the Cold War peacefully. When Reagan left office, the world was freer and more prosperous than when he was first elected. I agree with Peter Robinson: Ronald Reagan was the most magnificent of any American of the second half of the twentieth century.

Here is my list of the best books about Ronald Reagan.

1. The Reagan Diaries by Douglas G. Brinkley. Ronald Reagan wrote in his diary nearly every day over the course of his momentous eight-year Presidency. Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Douglas Brinkley, this book gives excellent insight into the man, his loves, his irritations, his thinking and his principles. A must-read for students of leadership and history.

2. Ronald Reagan: An American Life by Ronald Reagan. Here in Reagan’s own words is the definitive personal account of his life and his eight years in the White House. This autobiography was first published in 1990.

3. Reagan: A Life In Letters edited by Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson. Ronald Reagan was a prolific letter writer. This bestselling collection of Reagan’s letters gives a unique perspective of Ronald Reagan, his era, and his presidency. Contains over 1,000 letters written from 1922 to 1994.

4. Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America edited by Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson. Remarkable collection of more than 600 essays Reagan wrote for his radio commentaries during the 1970s, showing an astonishing breadth of vision on nearly every issue he would face as president.

5. Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader by Dinesh D'Souza. A very readable, enjoyable book. D’Souza shows how Reagan was often portrayed in the media as a dunce, yet his grasp of issues enabled him to outwit and outmaneuver his political naysayers again and again.

6. What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era by Peggy Noonan. This is a spirited, powerful book about Ronald Reagan and his momentous presidency. Peggy Noonan at her best.

7. How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life by Peter Robinson. Speechwriter Peter Robinson’s deeply personal account of the important life lessons he learned from Ronald Reagan. The chapter on how Reagan's immortal quote "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" came about is an important contribution to understanding Ronald Reagan's remarkable vision. 

8. The Notes: Ronald Reagan's Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom edited by Douglas Brinkley. Here are the personal index cards containing jokes, literary quotes, and excerpts from speeches written in Reagan's own hand and arranged by themes such as "On Liberty," "On War," and "On the People.”

9. The Wit & Wisdom of Ronald Reagan by James C. Humes. The author, a speechwriter for several presidents, focuses on Reagan’s humor – the jokes, one-liners, quips and zingers – that were an important feature of Reagan’s personality and his communication style. Also includes commentary and analysis of Reagan’s great speeches.

10. Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan by Del Quinten Wilbur. Gripping account of the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.