A Letter From the Publisher: Jan. 14, 1985

Unlike many other news organizations, TIME does not divide its coverage of the White House along West Wing-East Wing lines, that is, between the President's activities and those of the First Lady. So White House Correspondent Laurence Barrett has reported on Nancy Reagan as long as he has on her husband: five years this month.

Barrett and Mrs. Reagan quickly found they had something in common: a son trying to make it in professional ballet. "Nancy Reagan became a frequent and helpful source," Barrett says. "Though she is sensitive to criticism, she is also able to take negative comments in stride,...

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