Reagan's Pragmatist

Despite the questioning of specific actions and policies, it remains indisputable that a combination of the times and Shultz's own strength of character made him one of our most successful secretaries of state.

Issue: Fall 1993

George P. Schultz, Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State (New York: Charles Scribner's and Sons, 1993).

This nation owes much to George Pratt Shultz for his six and one-half years service during the 1980s as secretary of state. Put simply, he was the right man in the right place at the right time. In the circumstances in which he was placed, his weaknesses were massively outweighed by his strengths--and by his services to the nation. Admittedly in other circumstances the outcome might have been different. Both the times and the other players surrounding Shultz served to enhance the value of his own remarkable strengths. These attributes are reflected in this huge and comprehensive memoir, which will serve as a veritable gold mine for historians in the future. Shultz is the first to acknowledge that his writings reflect his "own angle of view." While they are less consciously self-serving than most works of this genre, by expressing his conviction so forthrightly, Shultz reveals quite clearly not only that angle of view but its defects.

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