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Unread February 9th, 2011, 05:40 PM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Arrow John Fund, WSJ: Reagan's Foundation

We each make worlds specific to our particular nature. How many 100,000 other young males read that book without major inspiration? It’s almost as if those of us with some talents scatter seed and fertilizer for people with a different set of talents…

“When Reagan was 11, his mother gave him an inspirational novel called That Printer of Udell's, the story of a young man who combines a belief in ‘practical Christianity’ with Horatio Alger-like grit. Reagan biographer Edmund Morris noted in a 1999 interview in the American Enterprise magazine that the novel's central character, Dick Falkner, is "a tall, good-looking, genial young man who wears brown suits and has the gift of platform speaking and comes to a Midwestern town just like Dixon, Illinois, and figures out a workfare program to solve the city's social problems. He marries this girl who looks at him adoringly with big wide eyes through all his speeches, and eventually he goes off with her to represent that shining city in Washington, D.C."

“Years later, Reagan was uncharacteristically revealing about himself in a 1984 letter to the daughter-in-law of Harold Bell Wright, the author of That Printer of Udell's. He noted that all of his boyhood reading "left an abiding belief in the triumph of good over evil," but he singled out Wright's work for having "an impact I shall always remember. After reading it and thinking about it for a few days, I went to my mother and told her I wanted to declare my faith and be baptized. . . . I found a role model in that traveling printer whom Harold Bell Wright had brought to life. He set me on a course I've tried to follow even unto this day. I shall always be grateful."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...pinion_LEADTop
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