Peter J. Wallison, former White House counsel to president Ronald Reagan, has written an extraordinary book, "Ronald Reagan: The Power of Conviction and the Success of His Presidency." It’s a fascinating inside look at a charismatic president, whose never-wavering philosophy of how a country should be governed and whose powerful convictions and strategies are responsible for the success of his presidency, not only inspired his country but succeeded in shaping the world.
Wallison, who served in the Reagan administration for five years and as the president’s counsel in the White House from mid-1986 to mid-1987, was able to observe Reagan almost daily and kept a complete and meticulous diary during this "pivotal year." The book is based on the diary, and Wallison makes clear it reflects only his "own perspective and analysis." It looks at Reagan’s successes and failures — the Iran Contra scandal is described in detail — in a clear and even-handed manner and illuminates aspects of this modest man who shunned self-aggrandizement in all he did. Whether you are a Reagan admirer or not, the book makes for excellent, clarifying reading. Nancy Reagan is so impressed and pleased with Wallison’s work that he has been invited to the Reagan Library in California next month to lecture on the book. According to the library’s staff, Mrs. Reagan has said she wants to give a luncheon in Wallison’s honor, participate in the program and sign the book, which she believes captures so very many aspects of her husband no one else has. She has even taken it to a library board meeting to show to everyone and has sung its praises wherever she goes, complimenting Wallison and his perception and remarking how fortunate it was that he kept a diary. Indeed.
Faye Dunaway and Michael York have been cast to play the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in a movie to be called "The Bahama Triangle." The story will focus on the love affair between the Duchess, when she was 54, and the 37-year-old wily uninhibited playboy Jimmy Donahue of the Woolworth fortune. The love triangle played out in the Bahamas where the Duke was governor from 1940 through 1945. Though Jimmy was enthralled with the Duchess, maybe "love affair" is not quite the phrase, because he preferred the opposite sex. However, he kept a dozen pictures of the Duchess in his bedroom, all framed in gold, and bought her jewels. He found out what the Duchess wanted for her birthday and bought the piece at a famous New York jeweler, thereby beating the Duke to the punch. There was a time when Jimmy and the Duchess were everywhere in New York together but that went the way of all affairs of this nature. The film’s costume designer will create some of the Duchess’ quintessentially chic clothes designed by her favorite French couturiers, including Pierre Balmain. Dunaway will have the chance to emulate the Duchess’ incomparable fashion sense.