President of my youth

When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan by Peggy Noonan
Maybe I’ll just stick with books written by presidential speechwriters. These people can write.
For years, I’ve solely thought of Peggy Noonan as the speechwriter who gave Reagan the words (“slipped the surly bonds of Earth” and “touched the face of God”) from the lovely poem, “High Flight,” that he quoted after the Challenger disaster.
And I confess that I didn’t know much else about her. Now I see that she also wrote a memoir called What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era, which someday I may read, because I really like the way she writes.
And indeed, the writing is lovely. So are the memories and the stories she shares. This thing is strong on nostalgia and uplift. However, I think several of the stories probably are quite sugar-coated. And, nevertheless, I have to confess that I enjoyed reading this book.
While I’m confessing stuff, I’ll add this to the list: I’m a total sucker for books that paint people as heroes. Sometimes even when I know that they completely are no such thing. It’s a weakness, and I’ve put it right out there.
So—Noonan thinks of Reagan as a hero. I can’t say that I do. But doggone it, I liked reading about him as though he were.
And to read about the jokes he made after he was shot, and while he was recovering… oh, I get a little bit weak, I do.
The 18th book I’ve read for the U.S. Presidents Reading Project challenge. (And I just know this was more fun than the Millard Fillmore biography will be.)

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