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Ronald Reagan The Notes__Douglas Brinkley Editor with Commentaries of a Bystander

Updated on January 28, 2013

Ronald Reagan's Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom

"The Notes: Ronald Reagan's Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom" is now published with authorization from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum located in Simi Valley, CA.

I am a bystander and memory of President Ronald Reagan Presidential years is a recent memory for me. It's also similar memory for many others who remember the Reagan Presidency in the 80's, as the years when Cold War competition with Russia changed with unexpected break up of the Soviet Union that existed since World War Two era of Nikita Khrushchev and others who followed to the current days of Russian leadership.


Memory of the Fall of The Soviet Empire

By historical standards, this political upheaval is rather rapid and recent .

This is true particularly when one compares this post-World War II era with past political and military competitions of dominant powers in the world, before nuclear weapons in the centuries and millenniums before .

The Notes


Ronald Reagan’s “Notes” was just published in 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers.

I found this book quite accidentally at my Fairfax County Public Library new book shelf in one of my routine trips to the public library recently. Douglas Brinkley introduces the book by saying that at the Simi Valley Presidential Library, “The Notes” is known as “the Rosetta Stone—the secret collection of 4 by 6 note cards on which our 40th President recorded his favorite aphorisms, jokes asides, and timeless nuggets of political wisdom”.

01. On Liberty


I was rather surprised to find one of my favorite wisdom that I found from a book by Thomas Wolfe on "Promise of America" listed twice in the Reagan "Notes".

But there is of course much more in the notes, one liners, stories, wisdom, and perhaps surprising quotes from Lenin that for me are quite surprising, revealing the ruthless nature of the leader of the Russian brand of Marxism as adopted and directed the Philosophy of Soviet Union during the Reagan Years mostly.

"Know thy friends" but also "\know thy enemies", appear to be a key wisdom of the Reagan Rosetta Stone.

On The Nation - Highlight (Bystander: I seem to recall that this is a Thomas Jefferson wisdom).


Wise and frugal government which shall restraint men from injuring one another, which shall leave them free otherwise to regulate their own pursuits of industry & improvement & shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned Page 13

From A Memory Book__ - Our Family Origins USA

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02. On Liberty - Highlight: Thomas Wolfe (Bystander: Couple of words modified. But I did discover this long ago from a Thomas Wolf Book, I think “You Can’t Go


To every man his chance, to every man regardless of his birth his shining golden opportunity. To every man the right to love, to work, to be himself & to become whatever his manhood & his vision can combine to make him. This seeker is the promise of Am.

03 On War - Highlight: Vladimir Lenin


Great historical questions can be solved only by violence, & organization of violence in the modern struggle is a millitary organization. Page 72

Memory of The Berlin Wall

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04. On The People - Highlight: Chinese Proverb 400 BC


When the music of a nation becomes fast, wild & disconnected it shows the nation is in confusion. Page 80

05. On Religion - Highlight: Isaiah 1:18


Come let us reason together Page 123

06. On Humor - Highlight: Unknown Source


Worse wheel on the wagon makes the most noise. Page 194

Ronald Reagain Presidential Library and Museum


From a Memory Book: Our Family Origins

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Aerospace America's Destiny


Text with BIG Picture

Guestbook Comments

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    • waldenthreenet profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @julieannbrady: I think Gingrich desperately wants voters to think they have shared vision and shared skills. Reagan was considered the "Great Communicator". I do not believe Newt has same skills as Reagan. But it is up to the voters to make a choice on that topic. I am a bystander. But your observation is wise and food for thought for many voters. Thanks.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I found it pretty compelling to hear of Ronald Reagan recently in a political TV ad where it was mentioned that Newt Gingrich shared Ronald Reagan's name 50 times to show his connection to the man; yet, in contrast, Reagan mentioned Gingrich ONCE in his writings.


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