"Morning in America" (1984); "Teflon" President (1983)

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat Jun 12 01:52:00 UTC 2004


There's a possibly interesting story here: The 1942 book called
Morning in America that Barry cites was written by Willard Wiener, a
contributor to the left newspaper PM who's mentioned in Neal Gabler's
book on Walter Winchell.  The novel was actually based on the life of
the Revolutionary  general Charles Lee, but Wiener  added an epilogue
in which he asks the reader to accept his story as "a character study
of Charles Lee, an early American fascist."

In 1945, Wiener  wrote a book called  "Two hundred thousand flyers,
the story of the civilian AAF pilot training program," an account of
the same program that Ronald Reagan did documentary narrations for.
Wiener showed up in the 1950's as a Hollywood writer, though the only
writing credit I can find for him is an episode for the 50's dramatic
series "Four Star Playhouse," and I haven't been able to determine
whether RR ever guest-starred in any of these. There are more i's to
dot here, but it's quite possible that Reagan knew Wiener in one or
another of his capacities, or at least knew of his earlier book.

Geoff Nunberg

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