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The Reagan Files: The Untold Story of Reagan’s Top-Secret Efforts to Win the Cold War CreateSpace Jason Saltoun-Ebin


30th November 2011 History Books 13 Comments

LOS ANGELES (MMD Newswire) November 3, 2010 — President Ronald Reagan’s name is often invoked by modern politicians who celebrate the Gipper’s commitment to conservative values and foreign affairs. "The Reagan Files: The Untold Story of Reagan’s Top-Secret Efforts to Win the Cold War" by Jason Saltoun-Ebin (ISBN 1453633057), gives readers an unprecedented look at how the nation’s 40th president worked to win the war that divided the world’s two most powerful nations. Drawing on formerly top secret National Security Council meeting minutes and private letters between President Reagan and Soviet leaders, Saltoun-Ebin takes readers inside the White House Situation Room to see what it was like to be side-by-side with Reagan while he made decisions that would end the Cold War and shape the 21st Century. The book reveals President Reagan’s leadership skills, political judgment and intellectual prowess during his presidency in the 1980s. "It immediately occurred to me that these were the most important documents to have ever been released at the Reagan Library," Saltoun-Ebin said. "Finding what Reagan said and thought proved to be extremely difficult, and these documents contained Reagan’s uncensored thoughts on all areas of foreign policy."

A fresh cache of declassified and original materials on President Reagan…is coming to light with the publication of The Reagan Files…The documents… are raw, genuine and illuminating. –Pulitzer Prize-winning author David E. Hoffman

The Reagan Files… is a rich collection of declassified letters, transcripts and National Security Council meeting minutes gleaned from the Reagan Library concerning U.S.-Soviet relations and the end of the Cold War. –Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News

Ronald Reagan and his advisers wage a twilight struggle with a decaying Soviet Union–and each other–in this fascinating documentary history. –Kirkus Reviews

Did Reagan Win the Cold War? Jason Saltoun-Ebin has spent 9 years at the Reagan Library…finding the original documents… that take us as close as we are likely to come to answering one of the great questions of the 20th century. –Richard Reeves

Students of history will find fodder for dissertations and discussions in the transcripts of the National Security Council meetings and declassified letters contained in The Reagan Files. –Clarion Forward Reviews

The Reagan Files takes readers inside the White House Situation Room to see what it was like to be with President Reagan when he made his most important foreign policy decisions. So, if you ever wanted to know what it was like to be in the room with the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Director of CIA, and the National Security Adviser when they are talking about whether or not to take military action against the Soviet Union (and other countries) and potentially starting World War III, this is the book for you.

The book is based on over 100 recently declassified documents from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and includes all the recently released private letters between Reagan and the four General Secretaries of the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration.

A fresh cache of declassified and original materials on President Reagan…is coming to light with the publication of The Reagan Files…The documents… are raw, genuine and illuminating. –Pulitzer Prize-winning author David E. Hoffman

The Reagan Files… is a rich collection of declassified letters, transcripts and National Security Council meeting minutes gleaned from the Reagan Library concerning U.S.-Soviet relations and the end of the Cold War. –Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News

Ronald Reagan and his advisers wage a twilight struggle with a decaying Soviet Union–and each other–in this fascinating documentary history. –Kirkus Reviews

Did Reagan Win the Cold War? Jason Saltoun-Ebin has spent 9 years at the Reagan Library…finding the original documents… that take us as close as we are likely to come to answering one of the great questions of the 20th century. –Richard Reeves

Students of history will find fodder for dissertations and discussions in the transcripts of the National Security Council meetings and declassified letters contained in The Reagan Files. –Clarion Forward Reviews

The Reagan Files: The Untold Story of Reagan’s Top-Secret Efforts to Win the Cold War (Based on Recently Declassified Letters and National Security Council Meeting Minutes)










  • 13 responses to "The Reagan Files: The Untold Story of Reagan’s Top-Secret Efforts to Win the Cold War CreateSpace Jason Saltoun-Ebin"

  • Anna Poelo
    10:01 on November 30th, 2011
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    As an executive I have always been interested by how our government runs at the highest level, particularly in the Reagan White House. Saltoun-Ebin’s detailed descriptions provide the reader with an uncensored and deep look at how some of the most important decisions of the Cold War were reached. From a business standpoint, its worth noting that Reagan usually welcomed all the views
    of his advisers before making a decision, but also very decisive when the time came to do so. The author must be commended for his dedication to the material as this is the most comprehensive look at all of the different personalities on Reagan’s national security team and does a great job of showing how Reagan managed them at arrived at his decisions. One can only look forward to volume two.

  • John Baxter
    12:56 on November 30th, 2011
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    A fine study of how one remarkable man added to the strength of another remarkable man guiding this country to a peaceful ending of the Cold War.

    A very informative and rewarding reading experience — somewhat like a good novel, you hate to have it end. Although this book is a biography of Judge Clark, it is extremely valuable in placing before the American public how and why Ronald Reagan was a successful President and led the United States to Victory in the Cold War.

    The author’s emphasis on Judge Clark’s philosophy of “Let Reagan Be Reagan” is so important and in such contrast to other key advisors. Judge Clark’s exemplary style of Leadership and Management contributed much to his function as Reagan’s “top hand.” Clark’s humility, loving care and concern for those who worked for him, plus his family and friends, displays great character. The concern and dignity Secretary Clark paid his driver, Joe, is obvious by considering this driver his friend rather than “government chattel.” Especially touching is the scene where Clark brought Joe before the President to show off his belt buckle. Joe had served another Secretary for three years who had never bothered to speak a word to him.

    References to the “Divine Plan” for Judge Clark and President Reagan, along with their Faith and belief in God, exemplifies what is missing at the top in our government today, something we desperately need. Strengthened by his belief in God and his devout Catholic background, Clark was able to serve Reagan well in various critical and important assignments. Clark’s wise judgments added immeasrably to the success of President Reagan.

    Authors Kengor and Doerner are to be commended for bringing this valuable Biography and Presidential History to the attention of the American public. Job well done.

    James A. Webb, Jr.
    Major, USAF (Retired) and
    Associate Professor of Business,
    Louisiana Tech University (Retired)

  • nedendir
    14:22 on November 30th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, is often credited with winning the Cold War and bringing glory to the conservative movement. In this fascinating and important collection, Jason Saltoun-Ebin has compiled recently declassified letters and minutes of meetings to sketch out the history of the administration from 1981 to 1988.

    It is not a full history. He concentrates, in this volume, on U.S-Soviet relations. Beginning with Brezhnev, the “Polish Crises” it follows the story through Andropov, Chernenko and Gorbachev. Minutes detail the various summits and arms programs and treaties. The author notes that his goal is to let “these important letters and meetings speak for themselves.” The most fascinating aspects of these minutes and letters is that all the big players are there, Carlucci, Haig, Shultz, Meese, Weinberger and Baker. In reading the transcripts their voices come through clearly. Reagan’s comments are printed in bold.

    For those who have criticized Reagan for being an “actor” or being aloof, even forgetful, this book truly reveals the real Reagan. Unless the transcript has been doctored, it appears Reagan to not only be incredibly cogent but t have a mind that was full of information. Many of the important events that took place during this period are touched on, such as the role of the Pope in Eastern Europe. Reagan notes “the Vatican and the Pope have a key role to play in events in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.”

    The main problem with this book is that while it is of interest to specialists and academics it gets bogged down in the details of Soviet-U.S relations during the period, all the talk which we can see in retrospect doesn’t mean much because he USSR was declining and bankrupting itself at an amazing rate. The more interesting aspects of the Reagan administration, the Iran-Contra events, or Afghanistan, or the Middle East, that is left out, presumably for a second volume. Nevertheless the author has done an extraordinary job here of bringing together important primary material.
    Seth J. Frantzman

  • Analyzethis
    1:50 on December 1st, 2011
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    I completed this informational biography in seven days during a stay at the Cleveland Clinic. Due to my conservatism and Roman Catholic background, the book held my interest throughout with its references to Bill Clark’s faithful devotion to his President and his Pope. Especially enlightening were the passages revealing Al Haig’s true personality and the secret meetings with the papal nuncio as the Berlin Wall was beginnning to crumble and the USSR bear beginning to stumble. I would recommend this book to those who are able to uncouple their politics, open their minds and enjoy a vivid look behind the one of the most difficult times of the 20th Century. Good job, Paul Kengor and co-author.

  • Seano
    6:46 on December 1st, 2011
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    As an avid reader and follower of Ronald Reagan’s life and political career, this book is a great contribution to his legacy and further confirmation of Ronald Reagan’s ability to attract talented people to help him achieve his bold political agenda-both as governor of California and subsequently President of the United States. Perhaps no other advisor was more important than Judge Clark to Ronald Reagan….this book traces Mr. Clark’s life and career and demonstrates his importance to Ronald Reagan as a key advisor and chief “troubleshooter”. Both men were alike in many ways and certainly shared a common vision of America’s role in the foreign policy arena….especially with regards to the Cold War and support of fighting the spread of communist regimes in Latin/Central America.

    One has to wonder if some of the NSC’s involvement within the context of the Iran-Contra scandal could have been prevented if Judge Clark had not left his role as National Security Advisor and head of the NSC to become Secretary of the Interior. I found this book to be a fascinating read and came away with a greater appreciation for Judge Clark’s contributions to President Reagan’s administration and, more importantly, as a man of faith and integrity who deflected attention from himself to serve the greater cause.

    An indispensable read for followers of American political history and, especially, the Reagan administration.

  • Jolynn Ordona
    11:12 on December 1st, 2011
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    I purchased this book with high expectations. Many times that results in disappointment, but this time my expectations were met. I actually marvelled as I had a hard time putting this book down. I have very little time available for recreational reading, but I managed to fly through this book in about a week. It was . . . engaging. I don’t want to reveal everything in it, but there are a few essential pieces that should pique your interest: First, the subject matter of this book gives you a great review of, and inside look at, foreign policy during President Reagan’s first term. Second, you get an essential understanding of some of the key personality dynamics within the Reagan White House (during the first term). Third, you can see how the D.C. establishment will go all out in their attempts to destroy (Washington) outsiders. Hint: they did not succeed with the Judge. Finally, in this case, the Judge’s personal integrity, and the trust it inspired, had an essential role in achieving what was thought to be unachievable. Because of the Judge’s integrity, he was able to help the President, to an unprecidented extent. Along with that finding, you will quickly discover that the best thing about this book is the completely positive tone.

  • Anna Poelo
    15:30 on December 1st, 2011
    Reply to comment

    This is an awesome and well-researched book about a wonderful man, Judge Bill Clark. One of the finest men to ever serve in Washington. It’s great to read about a man who’s so private and would never tell anyone because he’s so humble the great accomplishments he helped to make in bringing down the Soviet Union. Great job Dr. Kengor!

  • Jim Levitt
    21:16 on December 1st, 2011
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    Despite all the books written about Ronald Reagan, none reveal the insights into this President and man like this book about his closest friend and soulmate, William P. Clark, “The Judge”. Besides learning some new, important and inspiring things about Reagan, we learn a lot about this most amazing, and truly unsung American hero, former National Security Adviser, William Clark. As the book jacket and others have already stated, the reason we are just finding this all now is because Clark seems to truly embody those rare virtues of humility and selflessness not often found in public figures, and he never wanted the light to be shone on him and his incredible accomplishments. He was truly a public servant who went to Washington to serve Reagan and his country, always with his eye on someday heading back west to his beloved ranch. Reagan knew Clark was this type of very honorable man, and thus trusted him completely, and that is why Clark became Reagan’s confidante, top adviser and closest friend in those very critical years for our country, and the world.
    Lets hope that those men who are now striving to win the Republican nomination for the next Presidential election and, hopefully, take up the mantle once again of the great Reagan, will read this book and truly learn from it what it means to embody those ideals and deep convictions that Reagan and Clark both held in tandem and lead our country with that same, much needed strong, fearless, and wise moral and just leadership like that of Ronald Reagan.

  • Oma Wedgeworth
    23:45 on December 2nd, 2011
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    This book showed a different side to Ronald Reagan.One that many people may not have known about.But as always, it did show that Reagan had strong bedrock values and surrounded himself with knowledgable people.

  • Analyzethis
    11:13 on December 3rd, 2011
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    This is an inspiring biography of an important man that I had not known much about. William Clark worked closely with Ronald Reagan during his early years as governor of California and also during his years in the White House. While the book is Clark’s biography, it also contains a window into the life and character of President Reagan. It’s very well written. I highly recommend it.

  • Seano
    16:09 on December 3rd, 2011
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    If you ever wanted to know what really happened inside the Reagan White House this book is for you. The book is an edited collection of never before published National Security Council meeting minutes that deal with the Soviet Union. I found reading the documents that I really got a feel for what it was like to be inside the White House Situation Room as Reagan and his staff were debating how to deal with the Soviet Union. It was also really interesting getting to read some of the letters between Reagan and the four different Soviet leaders.

    As for the argument that Reagan ended the Cold War, the book does not really take a position one way or the other. I found the book to show evidence both supporting those who claim Reagan was responsible for ending the Cold War (like the chapter and evidence suggesting that Reagan and his staff were pushing the Soviet Union to collapse through sanctions against the Soviet Union designed to cutoff money from the trans-Siberian pipeline) and evidence that Reagan was just in the right spot at the right time (like inside details about the superpower summits with Gorbachev in which Reagan appears to be fighting against Gorbachev’s attempts to reform the Soviet Union).

    Even if you are not a history buff, everyone can really get an inside look by reading this book.

  • Ripel
    18:02 on December 3rd, 2011
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    A wonderful look at one of America’s unsung heroes. William Clark was indeed a patriot who went above and beyond the call of duty. As President Reagan’s key advisor these two great men had a relationship unlike any other political figures in recent history. Almost telepathic in nature they were like brothers united like no other. Elemental in the ultimate “end game” in dismantling the Soviet Union piece by fractured piece to ensure the safety of America and preserve our freedom. It may not ever make the mainstream media’s top ten list for obvious reasons and that is a shame. A must read for anyone who grew up during the Cold War.

  • Juana Cruz
    21:23 on December 3rd, 2011
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    “The Reagan Files” is a unique piece of work. Jason Ebin has uncovered, transcribed, and organized the words of the principal actors in the most important foreign policy meetings of the 1980s. Rather than editorialize the meetings, Ebin has laid out their content, so the reader can evaluate the decision making processes through whatever lens he chooses to view them. While I still strongly disagree with Reagan and many of the policies he backed, my view of Reagan the man is more nuanced (and perhaps more fair) than it was before reading the material. He was certainly not the cartoon character that has often been portrayed by the media. And in some notable occasions he shows himself to be the person in the oval office with the most reason and foresight. I now better understand who headed of our country in the years before the end of the Cold War.

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