This book is a collection of photographs from the Reagan administration and grouped around events or topics in his presidency like the inaugurations, the attack on Libya, the firing of the PATCO air traffic controllers, Iran-Contra, and so on. Each section/chapter runs 2-4 pages and has a couple paragraphs from each event or period.
It’s a nice trip back to the 1980s. I was but a boy then, of course, so my growing awareness of the political world was rising quickly. I don’t remember many of the things from his first administration, but by the second, I’m familiar with the themes and the events. The photos show Reagan, of course, but they are also photos of the period, with the fashion, blocky glasses, big hair, and whatnot.
I have to say, aside from the weird stuff in the urban areas, the 1980s fashions that trickled down to Missouri weren’t hideous enough to scar us, unlike the things that Boomers did to themselves. I mean, plaid pants? Really?
I inherited this book from my aunt Dale, I deduce, because it was sent out to her beau in 1994 and has a letter from some Republican fundraising organization or another in it and a certificate of authenticity that says this is a numbered copy of the deluxe edition that was limited to 125,000. I’m pretty sure that that must have been the whole initial press run of this book.
The book is worth a browse for the nostalgia and for its mood lifting potential: 8 years of Reagan lifted the national mood quite a bit and ushered in several decades of positive growth and national mood. These times we’re in, they too will pass, and the end result might be a better world instead of Mad Maxville.