Having written seven books myself, I know being an author is not an easy job. Sometimes staring at that first blank piece of paper or an empty computer screen can seem to be an insurmountable hurdle.
And I can understand if one were writing a book on the Lincoln assassination it would be impossible to contact the next of kin for their story. The same is possibly true for Gen. George Patton and definitely true for Jesus Christ.
But if an author is writing a book on the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, I have a news flash: I’m still alive.
“Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency” by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard is the second book to come out this year that completely failed to contact any surviving members of the Reagan family so we could put the event into context.
Earlier this summer H.W. Brands released his biography “Reagan: The Life” although for many of the incidents contained within the book a more accurate title would have been “Reagan: The Lie.”
Brands recycles an entirely false story in connection with my high school graduation and my father’s speech at commencement ceremonies. He also believes that my father kept my sister and me from campaigning for him during the 1980 election on the advice of his consultants.
Another falsehood. I quit my job so I could campaign fulltime as a volunteer. You can read all the details regarding this book by clicking here.
Now it goes without saying that Bill O’Reilly is not a leftist with an axe to grind regarding Ronald Reagan. In fact the opposite is true. O’Reilly is an admirer of both my father and his administration.
“Killing Reagan” is certainly not a hatchet job (no pun intended), but the fact remains it would have been a better book if O’Reilly or his co–author had contacted me regarding the events of that terrible day and the effect it had on the family.
So here is a word of advice for authors who want to write about Ronald Reagan: I’m Michael Reagan. I’m still very much alive. So are my brother Ron, sister Patti, and my stepmother Nancy.
I’m reasonably sure all of us would be happy to help future authors understand more about my father if you would only give us a chance.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.