For their December 1990 issue, the editors of The American Spectator did the same thing they’d done every year since 1976: they asked a few famous writers, academics, and political types to provide book recommendations for the holiday shopping season.
One recommender in that 1990 issue was former First Lady Nancy Reagan. She spoke highly of two books by Rosamund Pincher (The Shell Seekers and September), one book by Mark Twain (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) — and one book each by Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
Here, from the Spectator‘s archives, is Nancy’s rationale on those last two:
An American Life, by Ronald Reagan. The fascinating story of a young boy from Dixon, Illinois, who worked for a construction company as an 11-12 year old for 25 cents an hour; at fifteen he became a lifeguard to help work his way through college; in college he worked to pay his way, and afterwards finally landed a job as a sports announcer in Iowa. He then became a star in movies, the Governor of California for eight years, and finally President of the United States for eight years. Incredible story.
My Turn, by Nancy Reagan. An honest book answering all the charges that had been made against her for eight years and she didn’t feel she could answer at the time; a picture of what life was like at the White House and her relationship with her husband.