Category Archives: Commentary

NEW BOOK: Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan

November 24, 2014

Last Act - book coverDear Friends,
Whew! Well, after three years, “Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan” is done and with my publisher, Harper Christian. The publication date for “Last Act” is September of 2015. Also, I’ve finished “Citizen Newt,” a political biography of Newt Gingrich which will come out in 2016. “Citizen Newt” will also be published by Harper Christian, on which work was begun in 2011. This is the authorized biography of one of the most important political figures of the last 50 years. Dozens of interviews were conducted with Speaker Gingrich.

Also, I’ve drafted “Wilderness,” a book about Reagan’s evolving ideology in the critical years from 1976 to 1980. And I’ve begun new research on several more books which will cover both Ronald Reagan and other historical figures.

There is such joy and a clear conscience in doing original research and original writing.

Thank you friends for all your support and kindnesses.



Longtime Rep. Phil Crane dies at 84

CRANENovember 9, 2014

Phil Crane was one of the early pioneers of the American conservative movement. A stalwart leader, a true intellect he was at the center of the fight over the Panama Canal Treaties and other battles which helped shape modern conservatism.
He helped transform conservative governance from a theory to a fact.
RIP Phil Crane.

A statement in response to the stories…

A statement in response to the stories that have appeared regarding my 2005 work Reagan’s Revolution and the soon-to-be-released book The Invisible Bridge

Upon receiving a copy of the new book The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, that author Rick Perlstein asked me to review, I immediately noticed startling similarities to my book Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign that Started It All. The similarities were not just in historical facts – after all, both works cover the same historical figure and period. Rather, the similarities were in wording, phrasing and expression—nearly fifty in all, according to our initial review of the work.

When I looked to see if Mr. Perlstein credited his many uses of Reagan’s Revolution, I found that the body of The Invisible Bridge does not credit Reagan’s Revolution at any point, and there are no footnotes, end notes, bibliography or other common form of citation in his book. Instead, buried on page 810, Mr. Perlstein directs readers to access his personal website where, after several clicks, they can uncover “A Note on Sources” for The Invisible Bridge. There, Mr. Perlstein credits some—but not all—of his uses of Reagan’s Revolution.

In some instances, Mr. Perlstein lifted words and phrases straight from Reagan’s Revolution into The Invisible Bridge. In each such instance, Mr. Perlstein changed a word or two, or perhaps a tense—but failed to do so in a way and to an extent sufficient to transform my original expression into his own. In Reagan’s Revolution, for instance, I wrote Kansas City’s “red light district was festooned with red, white, and blue bunting, as dancing elephants were placed in the windows of several smut peddlers.” In The Invisible Bridge, Mr. Perlstein wrote Kansas City’s “anemic red light district was festooned with red, white and blue bunting, several of the smut peddlers featured dancers in elephant costumes in their windows.”


It’s Opening Day

And I remember being at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore 30 years ago watching President Reagan throw  out the first pitch. Terry Dolan, Leif Noren and I were sitting right behind home plate.

It was a beautiful Spring day. Blue skies, temperature perfect for baseball.


President Reagan was along the third base line and Rick Dempsey was the Orioles catcher. He thought Reagan was going to throw a little pitter patter pitch and squatted down about 20 feet away.

Reagan waved him back and Dempsey squatted. Reagan waved him back a second time and  Dempsey squatted. Then a third time and finally it was nearly 60 feet, 6 inches.

Reagan leaned back and fired a fastball into Dempsey’s mitt. We heard the “thwack” of Dempsey’s glove from our seats.

Fifty thousand people went nuts.

The Gipper was grinning from ear to ear.

One of my most treasured memories.

(Updated on April 7, 2014)