Reagan Wit: The Humor of the American President

Overview

Legendary for his clever gibes, bits of wisdom, and ability to laugh at himself, Ronald Reagan endeared himself to the public from the moment he entered the political arena. Few presidents have been so frequently quoted on their one-liners or ready comebacks. Now, The Reagan Wit offers the Reagan humor in hundreds of quotations, both famous and unfamiliar, from every phase of his life and career. Following Reagan through his youth, college years, military service, rise as a Hollywood actor, two terms as governor ...
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Overview

Legendary for his clever gibes, bits of wisdom, and ability to laugh at himself, Ronald Reagan endeared himself to the public from the moment he entered the political arena. Few presidents have been so frequently quoted on their one-liners or ready comebacks. Now, The Reagan Wit offers the Reagan humor in hundreds of quotations, both famous and unfamiliar, from every phase of his life and career. Following Reagan through his youth, college years, military service, rise as a Hollywood actor, two terms as governor of California, presidency and post-presidency, The Reagan Wit takes a look at myriad priceless moments. Included here are well-known gems such as "Honey, I forgot to duck" (after Hinckley's assassination attempt), as well as lesser know but equally entertaining statements such as "I'm not worried about the deficit: It's big enough to take care of itself" and (joking about his age) "I can remember when a hot story broke and the reporters would run in yelling, 'Stop the chisels.'" These quips capture the charm that has made Reagan a revered figure. The Reagan Wit is filled with engaging anecdotes, such as how Reagan got a taste for leadership when, as a college freshman, he led a protest against proposed school budget cuts, and noted, "I discovered that night that an audience has a feel to it, and... that audience and I were together." And then there's the playful side to Reagan: He responded warmly to a letter he received from a kindergarten teacher who wrote that her class thought the governor of California was "Ronald McDonald"; started a long-held tradition of passing around jelly-beans at Cabinet meetings while governor; and took up the harmonica after leaving the presidency. Little escapes Reagan's powers of observation: The Soviet Union, Democrats, big government, the press, and even his own staff are all subject to his quips. The Reagan Wit showcases Reagan's impeccable timing, his humor always as fair as it is funny.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
After editing several previous popular books (e.g., The Uncommon Wisdom of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Carol Pub. Group, 1994), Adler collaborated with his son to compile this collection of one-liners, quips, anecdotes, and other quotables uttered by America's 40th president. Divided into ten chapters covering Reagan's youth through postpresidential years, the collection offers both unfamiliar and legendary Reaganisms that demonstrate an upbeat personality with a remarkable sense of timing and a healthy ability to laugh at himself. This slim volume will elicit chuckles from presidential buffs of any persuasion with a sense of humor, as well as from Reaganites. William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898030907
  • Publisher: Jameson Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Pages: 120

Read an Excerpt

On the Press

Reagan was spotted reading a New York Times analysis of his latest foreign policy speech:

I want to see what these bastards are saying so I can protect myself. You can sure tell when you're in hostile territory. 1980

When bothered by hecklers, Reagan told his audience:

I hope my mike can outlast their bullhorns.

And when it did not, he showed his displeasure with their shouting and singing by commenting:

You know, they can't even sing.

On a campaign bus in snowy New Hampshire, Reagan kidded:

If anyone hears dogs barking, its because the next leg will be done by sled.

Copyright © 1998 by Bill Adler Books, Inc.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2003

    Absolutely Funny and Witty!

    Every time President Ronald Reagan opened his mouth, something witty came out! This book captures some of his greatest wit. We respect people who can joke about themselves as much as others, President Reagan does this often. Everyone (even unfortunate Reagan critics) will enjoy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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