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This fall, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., plans to unveil a history of the president-governor-actor and his wife Nancy as shown through the pointed medium of magazine covers. With hundreds of covers encompassing everything from Reagan’s TV career to his defense policy to Iran-Contra to Alzheimer’s disease, the library hopes to select pieces for a diverse (and not uniformly positive) portrait of the former first couple. “What other figure could span 50 years of American history, of world history?” asks Mark Burson, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, which oversees the library. “I think people will be mesmerized.” With so many covers over so many years, it’s hard to pick favorites, but Tom Lorentzen, a consultant who helped put the show together, has one: “From my own collection, a 1967 Newsweek titled ‘Rising Star in the West.’ Looking back on it, it’s like, ‘Wow, no kidding.'”

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