Ronald Reagan's diaries are being published. I think he was one of the very great Presidents, but he was also one of the funniest, with a dry wit evident even in serious remarks:
Wed. Feb. 11 • Intelligence reports say he Castro is very worried about me. I'm very worried that we can't come up with something to justify his worrying.There are ten pages of this at Vanity Fair, and five volumes of the book.
Wed. Nov. 18 • Today was the big day—the speech to the world at the Nat. press club. It really was to the world. I'm told it was the largest network ever put together—all of Europe, China & I don't know how many other places. It has been wonderfully received worldwide except for Russia—Tass [tass, Russian news agency] is screaming bloody murder. I asked Russia to join us in total elimination of all medium range nuclear weapons in Europe. Funny—I was talking peace but wearing a bullet proof vest. It seems Qaddafi put a contract on me & some person named Jack was going to try for me at the speech. Security was very tight.[This was after he had been shot]
Tues. Dec. 22 • Met with the Polish Ambassador & his wife. It was an emotional meeting. They have asked for asylum here. He is defecting because of what the Polish govt. (ordered by the Soviets) are doing to the Polish people.
I go on TV tomorrow nite. It's supposed to be a Christmas message but I intend to deliver a message to the Soviets & the Poles. We can't let this revolution against Communism fail without our offering a hand. We may never have an opportunity like this one in our lifetime.
Fri. April 2 • Last night I called the Pres. of Argentina—talked for 40 min. trying to persuade him not to invade the Falkland Islands (property of U.K. since 1540 or so). Argentina has been trying to claim them for 149 years. I got no where. This morning they landed some 1000 or so men. Population of islands is only 2000 almost all English. Now we learn there is a possibility of oil there.
A strong, straightforward man committed to beating communism did just that: he beat it. That's all it would take to eliminate the scourge of Islamism from the world. But Reagan had been talking about communism for decades before he became President. There's nobody like him in sight at the moment.