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Presidential Reading

This week I've been reading a few books dealing with presidents. They are my favorite. I'm kicking off the new year by re-reading one book that I think every speaker should read a dozen times and finishing a book on Reagan. Additionally I've started a book on the founding fathers which is starting to catch my interest.

The book I'm re-reading and the book you MUST BUY is the same one I recommended back in July of 2005. Speak Like Churchill, Stand like Lincoln. It's just flat out practical and powerful if you communicate regularly. This time through I've tried to slow down and only read a few nuggets at a time to begin to chew on them.

The second book (which I'm almost finished) is titled "How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life" by Peter Robinson. This book is especially relevant to anyone in their twenties to mid-thirties still figuring out some of the questions we're all supposed to have answered by now. Drawing on his experience as a speechwriter under Reagan, Peter Robinson speaks of the life lessons he learned from observing the President from an arms reach. Having been charged with writing speeches the public would believe Reagan wrote, Robinson had to learn to understand the way Reagan thought. As Robinson got to know more about what made Reagan he found in these answers a sort of mentorship to which he passes on to the reader. It's well worth your time even if you aren't a political buff like myself.

Finally the newest book in my collection is a Christmas gift from my wife, American Creation by Joseph J. Ellis. As a pulitzer-prize winning author, Ellis goes back to his familiar stomping grounds of the American Revolution and draws a series of potraits of the men who helped shape our Nation's core. What each one of us enjoy (and often take for granted) is a society designed to tackle and openly wrestle with tough questions. American Creation takes aim to provide us a realistic look at the men and the situations which developed this nation while pointing out that the creation of our country did not provide a utopia where all quetions can have final answers but rather an atmosphere where all questions can be openely debated (and prayerfully decided the right way at the end of the day).

While I always gain leadership insights from these books, it is for me a pleasure read. Who knows, maybe you'd like it to. By the way I was turned on the Ellis when I read his book "His Excellency".

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Tuesday, January 01, 2008


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