- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 20, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

What’s past is prologue, and occasionally worth a pretty penny. The Raab Collection, a dealer in historical documents, has acquired a newly discovered, unpublished letter by the future president Ronald Reagan written on August 12, 1946 — “showing him decrying the infiltration of the Democratic Party and Hollywood by Communists and sympathizers,” the Philadelphia-based organization says.

The letter, handwritten on his first wife’s Jane Wyman’s personal stationary, is addressed to one Lola Kinel Shipman, an Eastern European author who had fled her homeland to America. The dealer describes the document as “among the most revealing letters Reagan wrote, presaging his transition from Democrat to Republican years later.” The asking price:  $17,500.

“The evolution of Reagan from a liberal Democrat to a conservative Republican had profound consequences for our country and the world,” says Nathan Raab, a former journalist and a principal for the collection. “In this remarkable letter we see the earliest stirrings of that and also his power of words in advocating his position. It shows just how early he was looked to as a leader in the crusade against communist influence in the United States.”

The letter indeed suggests an emphatic future for its author.

“Believe me I don’t want to be a ‘Red Baiter’ or go on a ‘witch hunt’ but if the liberal cause is to win in the fight against native Fascism it must first stand up and be counted as opposed to communism,” Reagan wrote. “Some of you who feel as you do might raise the issue in your organization and see what is the strength of the communists — they’ll reveal themselves. One thing to watch however is that any resolution must be directed against communism and not communists, otherwise they’ll charge you with favoring restrictions on individual political thinking.”



This is the highest priced document in the organization’s Reagan collection, which ranges from $1,500 for a brief typewritten correspondence — to this letter. Find the group here

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