Category Archives: Commentary

A Letter from Leonard Rein

Hello there Mr. Shirley,

After finishing page 535 of December 1941 I sat back in my chair, closed my eyes and thought about the salient details you provided for the events taking place during that historic month. On the day of the attack I was a boy of 11, but astonishingly, I can vividly recall the impact and the reaction the news had on my parents. It was a day I will always remember and as I read your outstanding portrayal of events I was immediately immersed in a personal trip down memory lane. You are absolutely correct it was a game changer for all of us who were alive on that date and it has impacted lives well beyond 1941. When my Dad was discharged in late 1945 and returned to Westinghouse, his former employer, he was given the opportunity as an Assistant Branch Manager in York, PA. We moved from Philadelphia, and, without a doubt it, it completely changed the trajectory of my life. We only lived there four years but virtually ever twist and turn in my life has had a connection to York, PA. Absolutely amazing.

As I sat reflecting on my thoughts about the events and circumstances you described my mind kept returning to the question … what do you think about the book: 1) I am impressed with the clarity and straight forward approach to your narrative; 2) as I thought more about my impression of your work it seemed to me  as if I was reading the transcript of a play by play 31 inning baseball ball game. I felt I was reliving my experience of the events in living color.

In addition to December 1941, I now have read the three books you have written on Ronald Reagan; Citizen Newt is next on my list. Thank you very much for taking the time to offer such enlightening reading material of major personalities and events. You are a true Patriot. Have you established a time line on your next book?

In your Epilogue I was impressed with the comment Borman made to Senator Anderson about how the devastating fire to Apollo One astronauts could have happened … it was a failure of imagination … seems apropos to events currently confronting our nation. Or is it “invincible ignorance” that was described, in an article that appeared in the January 27, 2014 issue of The Weekly Standard, as a wonderful Catholic phrase which is used of individuals whom circumstances have made incapable of ever learning the truth.

Happy Holidays!

Leonard Rein

CNN Republican Debate Analysis – December 15, 2015

It was refreshing to see a debate on substantive issues and more importantly on foreign policy where there is a distinct difference between a Bush-neocon philosophy and a traditionalist Reagan, conservative policy. The winners were Cruz, Trump, Christie and the losers were Carson, Fiorina and Bush.

Bushism is a failed and discarded philosophy. Clearly, Reaganism is still the undiscovered country for the Establishment Republicans.

Responding to Bill O’Reilly’s Comments about The New York Times piece penned by Secretary George Shultz

Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, Reagan’s Attorney General, Reagan’s chief speechwriter, Reagan’s political director, Reagan’s chief counsel, the leading conservative columnist in America today, a leading conservative talk show, the head of the Reagan Library and four Reagan historians have all weighed in against Bill O’Reilly’s deeply flawed “Killing Reagan.”

Have I forgotten anybody?

Responding to Dan Senor’s Claims Marco Rubio Embodies Ronald Reagan the Most

The 2016 race is anything but routine, but one thing that all the campaigns share is their claims to be just like Ronald Reagan. But what traits do the candidates actually share with the Gipper? Reagan Biographer & Presidential Historian Craig Shirley weighs in:

“I see parts of Reagan in most of the 2016 candidates, said Reagan Biographer & Presidential Historian Craig Shirley. “Rand Paul‘s intellectual libertarianism, Ted Cruz‘s principles, Chris Christie’s straightforward style.”

Last Act Wins the USA Best Book Award

USA Best Book AwardsC

Craig Shirley’s compelling account Of Reagan’s final years Wins for “Best Narrative: Non Fiction”

New York, NY – Acclaimed historian and Reagan biographer Craig Shirley’s latest work, Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan, has been awarded the prestigious USA Best Book Award for “Best Narrative: Non Fiction,” for 2015. The USA Book Award honors excellence in writing in a wide array of subjects. The full announcement can be found here.

“Like with all my books, I’ve labored hard and long to get the story right, to get the facts right and so I am deeply gratified and honored that USA book news chose to recognize Last Act with this award,” said Craig Shirley.  “Of course, none of this would be possible without the steady and longtime superb assistance of Borko Komnenovic, my longtime research assistant and my friend.”

This groundbreaking work, forged through years of meticulous research and interviews with Reagan’s top advisers reveals the facts of Reagan’s active final years and unprecedented national response to his passing in 2004.

  • The surprising facts about Reagan’s battle with Alzheimer’s and the truth about when and how his diagnosis was discovered and the irrefutable proof that he was not afflicted while in office.
  • Following Reagan’s death, media outlets and opinion leaders wasted no time in viciously savaging Reagan, his legacy, and those who followed him. Even as the country turned out in huge numbers to pay their respects, the vicious and persona