Modern presidents both influence and are influenced by books, movies, and television; with no commander in chief is that more clear than with Ronald Reagan. Dr. Benjamin Griffin, chief of the Military History Division at the United States Military Academy, has researched and written the definitive book about the 40th president's interactions with Tom Clancy and other authors, Hollywood films, and other pop culture: Reagan's War Stories: A Cold War Presidency.
In this chat, David Priess and Griffin discuss Tom Clancy's influence on an entire generation, how books with clear moral narratives informed Reagan's childhood, the influence of Whittaker Chambers on Reagan's iconic "A Time for Choosing" speech in 1964, the rich relationship between Reagan and Clancy, the outsized impact of Clancy's first two books, and the complicated notion of presidential "vision."
Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Among the works mentioned in this episode:
The book The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
The book The Third Word War by Sir John Hackett
The book Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy
The book Subregional Security Cooperation in the Third World by William Tow
The book That Printer of Udell's by Harold Bell Wright
The film High Noon
The John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The book Witness by Whittaker Chambers
The book Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
The film All the President's Men
The book The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
The film Apocalypse Now
The film The Deer Hunter
The film Patton
The film Back to the Future
The TV movie The Day After
The movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The book Euromissiles by Susan Colbourn
The book The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin