The Corner

Stephen Coonts Watch

I’ve got an article in today’s WSJ (sub req’d) on the best-selling thriller author Stephen Coonts, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the publication of his first book, Flight of the Intruder:

Ronald Reagan left this copy on his desk, beside a jar of jellybeans, on the day a photographer for Fortune visited the Oval Office. When the picture appeared in the magazine, publicists at the U.S. Naval Institute made sure that everybody knew what was on the president’s reading list. …

In “Cuba,” a 1999 thriller that Mr. Coonts considers his personal best, he speculates about a succession struggle as Fidel Castro lies dying. It wasn’t the first time he had turned his eye toward Havana: In “Under Siege,” a 1991 book, a firing squad executes the Cuban dictator. “Yeah, I’ve killed Castro two times,” says Mr. Coonts. “Anything worth doing once is worth doing twice.”

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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