Even more of Dave Crozier's fascinating shorts

PUBLISHED: 15:55 11 July 2007 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 September 2010

THE REAGAN DIARIES by Ronald Reagan Edited by Douglas Brinkley HarperCollins, £30 During his two terms as the 40th president of the US of A (1981-1989), Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary. Now, nearly 20 years after he left office and just over three

THE REAGAN DIARIES

by Ronald Reagan

Edited by Douglas Brinkley

HarperCollins, £30

During his two terms as the 40th president of the US of A (1981-1989), Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary. Now, nearly 20 years after he left office and just over three years after his death, this record - the only daily presidential diary in American history - is available for the first time. It's a weighty tome, more than 700 pages, and he's shot on page 12. But whether you admired the man or not, it makes for fascinating reading. True, there's a fair amount of unnecessary detail but some of it is quite interesting in its own way - the day Russian premier Chernenko died, for example, Reagan makes a point of having a haircut before going to the Soviet embassy to sign the grief book. I imagine that most people who read the book will be Reagan fans already. But even for those of us who aren't, it's often intriguing stuff.

NIXON: THE

INVINCIBLE QUEST

by Conrad Black, Quercus, £30

Mention Richard Milhous Nixon to most of us and the word 'Watergate' will spring to mind. But, as you might imagine, there was much more to him than his fall from grace - and when you consider that this biography is more than 1,000 pages that's a LOT more... Arguably America's most controversial president, Nixon rose spectacularly from modest beginnings to become Dwight D Eisenhower's vice-president in 1952 at the age of just 39. Defeated by JFK in the presidential election of 1960, his political career looked to be finished. But he returned from the wilderness to snatch victory in 1968 and was re-elected in one of the biggest landslides in US presidential history in 1972 before Watergate, resignation and the long road to redemption. You won't be surprised to hear that, at more than 1,000 pages, it's all in here.

MORE THAN A GAME:

THE STORY OF CRICKET'S EARLY YEARS

by John Major

Harper Press, £25

Whatever you think of his politics, there's one undeniable truth about former Prime Minister John Major - he loves his cricket. And that love shines through this book which looks at the game from its origins up to the beginning of the 20th century. It won't make you share his passion if you don't already, but cricket lovers will find much to savour.

WILLIAM WILBERFORCE by William Hague

Harper Press, £25

While one former Tory leader gives us his sporting heroes, another comes up with the life and times of anti-slave trade campaigner William Wilberforce. And in this year, the 200th anniversary of its abolition, it is a compelling account written by a man clearly in full grasp of his subject. One thing though - Hague's previous book was about William Pitt the Younger. Is he limiting himself to writing only about people called William? If so, I wonder who will be next? Shakespeare? Wordsworth? Wonka? I can hardly wait...


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