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Jason Saltoun-Ebin
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Jason Saltoun-Ebin is an attorney/independent historian/real estate sales professional in Santa Barbara, CA. His research on the Reagan administration has resulted in the creation of, a freely accessible website used by scholars all over the world to study the Reagan administration. He has represented clients in their search for government records using the Freedom of Information Act and he now spends most of his time on the tennis court and selling real estate in beautiful Santa Barbara, Calif. (

His research has resulted in three substantial edited collections of documents from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. "The Reagan Files (Vol. 1)" is a collection dedicated to Reagan's top-secret efforts to win the Cold War. "The Reagan Files (Vol. 2): Inside the National Security Council" is an annotated collection of all the recently declassified National Security Council and National Security Planning Group meetings during the Reagan years. Most recently (2013), Saltoun-Ebin published "Dear Mr. President...Reagan/Gorbachev and the Correspondence that Ended the Cold War," an annotated and edited collection of over 40 letters between Reagan and Gorbachev.

He lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., and can be reached by email at

Entries by Jason Saltoun-Ebin

'The Invisible Bridge': 10 or So Questions with Rick Perlstein

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 12:58 PM

I sat down a few weeks ago with Rick Perlstein, author of Before the Storm and Nixonland, to discuss his latest, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. The book, released Monday, has already received glowing reviews.


JSE: To start, you have written...

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The Reagan Legacy at 10

(2) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 11:07 AM

The 40th President of the United States, the larger-than-life Ronald Reagan who left office 25 years ago with an impressive 63 percent approval rating among Americans, passed away 10 years ago this week. Amidst the celebrations this week for the man and his presidency, reflecting on the America Reagan left...

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Was Reagan's Decision to Cut-and-Run Really so Courageous?

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 12:28 PM

I recently read a piece on Foreign Policy arguing that President Reagan showed courage for his decision to cut-and-run in Beirut, which he made about 30 years ago this month. I have spent way too much time on this subject not to respond.

First, the writer argued...

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Syria: What Would Reagan Do?

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 2:54 PM

Going through my "to do" box of files from the Reagan library today I came across a July 7, 1987 letter from President Reagan to Prime Minister Thatcher that discusses Syria. It naturally immediately caught my attention, especially when it was in a folder on Libya. I started...

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Open Letter to Janet Napolitano: Please Help the UC System Escape the Culture of Mediocrity

(6) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 5:45 PM

Dear Secretary Napolitano,

I am writing to you in the hopes that when you assume the presidency of the University of California you will make it a priority to address what I see as the most important crisis facing not only the UC system, but also the state of...

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Recently Released Letters Between Reagan and Gorbachev Shed Light on the End of the Cold War

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 9:51 AM

The following is an excerpt from my latest book, Dear Mr. President... Reagan/Gorbachev and the Correspondence that Ended the Cold War.


RONALD WILSON REAGAN, the 40th president of the United States, went to sleep on the night of March 10, 1985 unaware that relations between the United...

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The Death Of Gaddafi and the Reagan Legacy

(16) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 7:45 PM

Almost 30 years ago, in February 1982, inside the White House a very top-secret paper was being circulated with the title, "Next Steps On Libya." The short paper, a National Security Council staff summary of a Department of State paper prepared for the February 4, 1982...

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25 Years After Reykjavik: What We Now Know

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 11:40 AM

In the summer of 1984, as President Reagan was moving forward with his intention to research and deploy the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Soviets called for bilateral meetings on the "militarization of space" to be connected with intermediate range nuclear weapons and strategic arms negotiations. The NST (Nuclear and Space...

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Libya: What Did Reagan Do?

(3) Comments | Posted April 22, 2011 | 2:25 PM

As the saga of Gaddafi's hold on power in Libya continues to play out, I want to share what the situation looked like to President Reagan in his first year in office. The following is from my forthcoming book on President Reagan and the third-world:

After Muammar Gaddafi seized...

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Libya: What Would Reagan Do?

(14) Comments | Posted March 24, 2011 | 2:22 AM

The following is a short exerpt from my forthcoming book chronicling Reagan and the third-world. Given the situation in Libya, I thought it appropriate to share at this time...

Just months after the hijacking of TWA flight 847, on December 27, 1985 twin terrorist attacks in...

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Six Lessons Mr. Donilon Could Learn From Reagan's Six National Security Advisers

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2010 | 3:56 PM

Having spent the last decade studying the Reagan administration, and the last few years focusing on Reagan's National Security Council, I thought it could be useful for Mr. Donilon to get a quick review (and a few lessons) of where some of his contemporaries failed in what is one of...

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Who Was Ronald Reagan?

(3) Comments | Posted October 6, 2010 | 10:35 AM

"I admire the way he stood up for causes he believed were right, no matter what." That was Nick Jonas of the Jonas brothers, talking about why he admires President Reagan. I'm not sure what "causes" Jonas is referring to. I wonder if he does.

Peter Castine, a 19-year-old from...

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Did Reagan Favor Abolishing Nuclear Weapons?

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2010 | 10:45 AM

Immediately after the 1986 Reykjavik Summit, during which President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev were thought to have been within words of agreeing to abolish nuclear weapons, Reagan endorsed a paper called "Why We Can't Commit to Eliminating All Nuclear Weapons Within 10 Years." The paper, written by former National...

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Rethinking Reagan: Conversation with David E. Hoffman (Part I)

(2) Comments | Posted March 16, 2010 | 11:58 AM

With the Reagan Centennial Celebrations set to begin in just less than a year, is conducting a series of conversations with noted Reagan historians. The goal of the series, "Rethinking Reagan," is to evaluate the Reagan years through a modern lens by comparing the Ronald Reagan presented through recently...

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Top-Secret Reagan Letters to Soviet Leaders Now Online

(6) Comments | Posted November 10, 2009 | 9:58 AM

On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Reagan Files is proud to announce the digital publication of top-secret letters between Pres. Reagan and the four Soviet leaders during the Reagan presidency. The top-secret letters are online at the Reagan Files website.

Reagan first...

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Two Great Speeches, Two Very Different Messages

(1) Comments | Posted September 9, 2009 | 10:30 PM

Though it is too early to start calling President Obama the next "Great Communicator," with Obama's speech on education this week, the time has come to compare it with President Reagan's speech twenty-one-years-ago, on Nov. 14th, 1988.

Speaking from the White House that day, President Reagan spoke to a...

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Qadhafi: Once A Clown, Always A Clown?

(1) Comments | Posted July 21, 2009 | 10:27 AM

After President Obama shook hands with Libyan leader Qadhafi earlier this month at the G8 summit, I tried to imagine what President Reagan would have done had he been in Obama's shoes. My initial reaction was probably the same as most -- there is no way Reagan would have shook...

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Marijuana: Still a "Threat to Our People"?

(16) Comments | Posted June 2, 2009 | 3:54 PM

Reading the recent report by Ryan Grim, "Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?" I instantly thought of what President Reagan told his advisers in his first NSC meeting as President of the United States. According to the recently declassified NSC meeting minutes, published on, Reagan said:

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Newly Online Memos Reveal that President Reagan Ordered Strikes Against Iran If Hostages Were Killed

(172) Comments | Posted May 29, 2009 | 5:01 PM

President Reagan ordered strikes against Iran if any of the American hostages held by the terrorist group Hezbollah were killed. The order, made during a January 18th, 1985 meeting of the National Security Planning Group, came on the heels of a threat by the terrorists to "try the American hostages...

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