Russell Baker

Like all young reporters – brilliant or hopelessly incompetent – I dreamed of the glamorous life of the foreign correspondent: prowling Vienna in a Burberry trench coat, speaking a dozen languages to dangerous women, narrowly escaping Sardinian bandits – the usual stuff that newspaper dreams are made of.

Those who remember Washington’s cold war culture in the 1980s will recall the shocked reactions to Reagan’s intervention. People interested in foreign policy were astonished when in 1985 he met alone at Geneva – alone, not a single strategic thinker at his elbow! – with the Soviet Communist master Gorbachev.