The Case of the AWOL President: PRESIDENT REAGAN: THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME by Lou Cannon

The Case of the AWOL President: PRESIDENT REAGAN: THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME by Lou Cannon

PRESIDENT REAGAN: THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME

by Lou Cannon; Simon & Schuster; 948 pages; $24.95

The first question in an intimate Oval Office session came from George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times. Ronald Reagan looked squarely at Skelton and started to respond: "Well, Lou . . ." The reporters present, though used to Reagan's lapses, were embarrassed for Skelton as he reintroduced himself. The President had in mind Lou Cannon of the Washington Post, who, like Skelton, had covered Reagan's trajectory from Sacramento to Washington. To Reagan, Cannon was the generic newsie of that vintage.

In fact, capital insiders...

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