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Hardcover For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington Book

ISBN: 0151639663

ISBN13: 9780151639663

For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington

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Format: Hardcover

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Photographs in black and white 8vo pp. XV + 398 ril mezza tela, sovrac (half-cloth binding, DJ) This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

A thought provoking look inside the Reagan White House

When he assumed the presidency, Ronald Reagan knew what had to be done to turn the country around after four years of ruinous Democrat rule. He also knew that in order to do it, he would have to find the best qualified men and women in the nation to carry out his policies. One of the men he selected was Donald Regan, the son of an Irish policeman, who had attended Harvard on a scholarship, served in the Marine Corp during World War II, and worked his way up through the ranks to become Chairman of the Board of Merrill Lynch. By the time Reagan became president, Donald Regan was a wealthy man contemplating a quiet retirement. Instead, he came aboard and became Secretary of the Treasury in Ronald Reagan's first term and, upon Reagan's re-election, his Chief of Staff. In this book, Regan takes us behind the scenes in the Reagan White House and lets us follow the action from the beginning of Reagan's administration up to the time of his resignation. It is an insightful story told by a man who was there. Reading it, one gets the impression that Regan has never been given the credit he deserves for his contributions to the nation's economic recovery as Secretary of the Treasury. At the same time, one senses that Donald Regan may have been seriously misjudged by the reporters with whom he was forced to interact as Chief of Staff and, partly because of his so called "abrasive" personality, was harshly treated by the news media. Looking at things from the inside, rather than the outside, it also seems likely that Regan, in the public mind, was held responsible during the Iran/Contra Affair for things of which he had no knowledge and over which he had no control or authority. In the end, Regan was forced to resign, and his resignation was accomplished in such a manner as to embarrass Regan and detract from what should have been an exemplary reputation. The impression one gets from this sad end is that it came about not because of anything Regan had done during the Iran/Contra Affair or because of his presumed abrasive personality, or even because he was constantly under attack by the press. In my view, it happened [in the way it did] simply because Ronald Reagan had been absolutely convinced that Donald Regan had committed the one unpardonable sin in Reagan's eyes. He had rebuffed and insulted Nancy Reagan and perhaps other members of the Reagan family. This is an in-depth and enlightening study of the inner-workings of the Reagan White House, and since it is based on the meticulous notes kept by Donald Regan while part of that administration it will be an invaluable resource for future generations of historians. The strangest and most interesting thing, to me, about this book, however, is that despite the way in which he was (essentially) fired and in light of the fact that Reagan and Regan never met or spoke again; Donald Regan seemed to have an extremely difficult time saying anything bad about Ronald Reagan.

Tells A Lot

This mostly memoir with bits of autobiography tells many interesting facets of 1980s governmental monetary policies, tax code restructuring, reforms, and entitlement issues. When some hear of a book penned by a Secretary of Treasury an incipient yawn creeps into them. But "For The Record" is lively and interestingly written.Coming from the Wall St. world of Merrill Lynch, where he spent 35 years, ending with the position of Chairman of the Board, Regan had a strong attitude. He had amassed $30 million dollars from his work and endeavors in the private financial world prior to joining the Reagan administration. This net worth was what he referred to as [***] you money." He wasn't dependant on anyone, or any particular organization, and instead of being a squimish "yes-man" so common in the private and public world, Regan was more of himself.He did note several things the administration did, that the media and Americans didn't catch on to. For example, cutting spending by 3% which was tied to a matching tax increase, while at the same time telling the American public that they were having their taxes cut (p. 223).Many bills are named by names and number, as well as the logic and debates that molded them into what the finally became. During his gig, Regan had proposed a VAT tax, commonly used by socialist nations (i.e., western Europe). Before the 1980s Tax reforms the U.S. had a 14 bracket tax system that went from tax rates of 11 to 50 percent. Afterward, 3 brackets were created which were levied at 15, 25 and 35%. These numbers are presented in the context of real-life using realistic and easy to understand examples. It's important to note that at one time in America, there was 91% tax bracket. Memoirs and autobiographies usually focus on things conveniently remembered and bad things not mentioned. This work details many things about the policies and people involved in Washington and the policy process during Regan's tenure. Those into economic policy, monetarism, 1980s politics and policy implementation, or history will find it good.

Insight into the Reagan era and Mr. Regan's role in it

Contrary to what the ordinary press thought, Donald T. Regan was not a "shadow behind the throne", deserving blame for the Iran-Contra affair and other events that placed Reagan in danger...He tried to do the opposite, as much as he could, in fact.He was an educated, intelligent man who had to face unusual circumstances both in his personal life experiences and inside the Reagan White House. Unfortunately other stranger, more cunning presences overwhelmed him in the end. However, that does not destroy the accomplishments of this great man, comparable to those of his President. Obviously this book, as any memoir, cannot be a completely unbiased account, but it's very close to one.

Very Interesting and Entertaining Book

I thought this was a well written, interesting and entertaining book describing his time in the Reagan White House. The author was the topic so I always do discount a little of what I read, but from some of the other books, I have read, from the Reagan staff, it looks like he did not pull too many Al Haig's and get an over blown ego. The detail on his job in the treasury department was very interesting, the explanations of the Reagan economic policies and their effects of the debit levels and currency value was also well done. Very few authors could document this topic and make it interesting. I think the most press on this book was due to his explanation of his relationship with Nancy and her controlling of the president by some tarot card reader in San Francisco. He handled it well and it is a juicy bit in the book. If you are interested in the Reagan administration then this is a good book that keeps you interested. If you are looking for a Reagan love fest then I would pick up Meeses's book, it is like a teenager writing a love letter to a boy band.
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