September 09, 1991

The Child Monarch

President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime by Lou Cannon (Simon and Schuster, 948 pp., $24.95) An American Life by Ronald Reagan (Simon and Schuster, 748 pp., $24.95) I. Maybe the local time just seems slower because the current occupant of the White House is a hyperactive gland case. Anyhow, it's hard to believe that only a couple of years have passed since the Reagans went away. It was a touching moment, we now learn.

September 02, 1991

All the President's Perks
12:00 AM

ON A WARM and sunny spring day Bonnie Newman, then assistant to the president for management and administration of the Bush White House, ate lunch at the Occidental restaurant with two former presidential aides, Jonathan Miller and Christopher Hicks. The restaurant is one block from the White House. As 2 p.m. neared Newman announced that she had to get back to attend a Cabinet meeting. Miller and Hicks offered to walk her back. No need, she said.

August 19, 1991

The Power of Myth
12:00 AM

Barry Goldwater says of Bill Movers, "Every time I see him, I get sick to my stomach and want to throw up." But the former senator is, yet again, either before or behind his times. Bill Moyers's standing as the conscience of America is one of the stipulated facts of our national life. The Texas Monthly says he is "the standard bearer of the best we see in ourselves." Jennifer Lawson, programming chief of PBS, says he is a "national treasure." Jackie Onassis calls him one of her heroes. Barbara Jordan takes it a step further: "I'd like to see him as president."She is not alone.

May 13, 1991

Ol' Blue Lips
12:00 AM

Kitty Kelley's achievement is extraordinary. She has provided a reason for sympathy with Nancy Reagan. She has taken one of the shrewdest, coldest, most manipulative women in American politics, a woman who broke new ground in spousal power, and transformed her into a victim. Kelley is a mean and greedy writer, so drunk on sensationalism that she lacks compassion and understanding. Her subject was a mean and greedy First Lady, so drunk on power that she lacked compassion and understanding. Both believe that nothing succeeds like excess and pettiness.

March 24, 1991

The Rape and Rescue of Kuwaiti City
12:00 AM

One sunny afternoon in the week of liberation, I went to the theater. The hall at Kuwait University's school of music and drama is a place of conspicuous civilization, a big cantilevered room with modestly elegant blue cloth seats trimmed in gold, rich wood-paneled walls, and a deep, broad stage set above a large orchestra pit. I expected to be alone there but instead found a British television crew videotaping the statement of 29-year-old Abdullah Jasman, Kuwaiti citizen, University of Pittsburgh graduate, and victim of a torture session in this unlikely place.

March 11, 1991

The Spirit Of The Laws
12:00 AM

How should the courts interpret the Constitution?

January 28, 1991

Feelings of Warmth
12:00 AM

Ms. Byatt is more annoyed [with] American publishers who insist on changing English idioms and spellings for American audiences. She got off quite easily in "Possession." The lifts and taps stayed. But, she says, her editors at Random House insisted she make her main character … a sexier guy.

December 31, 1990

Why I Hate Christmas
12:00 AM

When I was a kid in Minnesota my family had a huge Scandinavian feast every Christmas Eve, complete with two dozen relatives, three feet of snow, a mountainous evergreen trimmed to the top, a six-course dinner with lutefisk and turkey and eight or ten pies, long-winded after-dinner stories about baseball and World War II, and, of course, lots of brightly wrapped presents. It has taken me three decades of rigorous economics training and life on the East Coast to shake off the warm nostalgia of those holidays.

November 26, 1990

Drug of Choice

In the mid-1980s, as word of the French abortion pill rippled across the world, the new drug was greeted as a thing of awesome powers.

November 19, 1990

The Last Hundred Days
12:00 AM

John F. Kennedy and the raising of the Berlin Wall.