Essay: The Importance of Being Lucky

The satirically pious story tells how a soldier's breast-pocket Bible stopped the bullet en route to his heart. Ronald Reagan had no Bible in his jacket outside the Washington Hilton several weeks ago, but some of the world idly suspected that he may have been otherwise armored—that in some obscure way he may have been protected by his own remarkable luck.

Something in Reagan has always been lucky; it has been part of his attraction, his charm, the nimbus around him. Reagan's luck has a distinctly American shine; his grin proclaims it, the confident expectation of the...

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