First Lady Nancy Reagan was the driving force behind purging hard-line conservatives from the Reagan administration and nudged President Reagan toward his first meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, a former White House aide wrote.
"It was Nancy who pushed everybody on the Geneva summit," former White House deputy chief of staff Michael K. Deaver wrote in a book to be published in February. "She felt strongly that it was not only in the interest of world peace but the correct move politically."
Deaver's book, "Behind the Scenes," is to be published by William Morrow & Co. Inc., which provided an advance copy of the manuscript to The Washington Times.
Deaver wrote that he and Nancy Reagan worked together to persuade the president to replace Richard V. Allen and William P. Clark as national security advisers, Donald T. Regan as White House chief of staff and James Watt as secretary of the interior.
The president tends to defend subordinates if he believes people are ganging up on them, so Nancy Reagan instead "will wage a quiet campaign, planting a thought, recruiting others of us to push it along, making a case: Foreign policy will be hurt; our allies will be let down," Deaver wrote.