"I read The Moviegoer
when I was a young woman and it made such a strong impression on me that I had to put it down when I was done and go back to it two years later and read it again and see "Was this wonderful?" Ultimately, I thought it was probably the great American novel of the latter part of the twentieth century. When I got to the Reagan White House we got, as special assistants to the President, to nominate people for the Medal of Freedom. I was so honored that I spent a week writing an essay, telling Ronald Reagan why he should pick Walker Percy for the Medal of Freedom and honor him in the White House. I think this was in 1984. But they gave it to Frank Sinatra instead, and then Walker Percy died about two years later and I'm still upset. He never got the Medal of Freedom. But anyway, it was fun to have loved something so much and then to have told the President about it, and to tell him, "Do something for this man. He's a great man." - - former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan in her Academy of Achievement recommendation for Walker Percy's wonderful novel.