I rarely read history books that take up topics happening after 1980. I much prefer to explore the world that I did not live or read about in the daily newspapers.
But I have taken to Tip And The Gipper by Chris Matthews as a reminder there are better ways for the competing political parties to operate. We read constantly of the pressing down–ever harder and harder–from each party to the point that policy and governing comes far behind pure partisan wrangling. That clearly does not serve the nation.
So it comes as a tonic to replay President Reagan coming to terms with the need to increase taxes for economic reasons, or how House Speaker Tip O’Niell compromised to solve the Social Security funding crisis. These events and others serve as a reminder that it takes real leaders who can find a common space from which to operate that then shapes policy to best meet the needs of a nation.
I am always supportive of Mathews due to his show Hardball. I sincerely value his political analysis. But it takes more than that to allow me reason to pick up a book that deals with a topic from a period I generally do not spend time when it comes to history. With gentle pacing and some old-fashioned virtues this book hits the spot for partisan-weary readers. It is worthy of your time.