I Knew I Liked Australia

by Steven F. Hayward

I didn’t think I’d experience an unsolicited endorsement for my Age of Reagan book as kind and memorable as Jonah’s a couple weeks ago, but now Jonah has competition from the Prime Minister of Australia.  I was puzzled to have been invited to the White House state dinner for Howard last night–I figured it had to be a computer glitch or some other grand confusion–until I went through the receiving line. 

PM Howard hears my name and says, “You’re a writer!” 

Me: “Um. . . yes.” 

PM Howard: “The Age of Reagan, right?” 

Me: “Why yes.  You actually know of it??”  (The book has sold exactly 2 copies in Australia.)

PM Howard: “I just finished it.”

Pres. Bush: “Is it a good book?”

PM Howard: “Terrific book.”

Pres. Bush (to me): “He’s well briefed.”

Cue to photographer.  Meanwhile, I’ve started packing our bags to move to Australia.  Hope Derb approves of this locale for exile.

Kenny Chesney was good; Bush clearly likes to boogie to country music; he was bipping and bopping in his chair.  Other Cabinet members who I won’t name looked more like Easter Island statues during the set.

P.S.  One reason my Age of Reagan book tended to escape wider notice is that it arrived in bookstores on September 10, 2001, and was, needless to say, overtaken by events, though it did receive good print reviews (including a scortchingly good review in NRODT).  Volume 2, on the Reagan presidency itself, is taking me forever to get done for a variety of reasons, but it is on the way!

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