From the Inside Flap
They were three "middle managers" no one imagined could reach the top.
Ronald Reagan was too old to be president and too conservative anyway. Margaret Thatcher was not only too conservative she was a woman, and not on anyone's short list to lead Britain's Conservative Party. And the idea of a Polish pope that was truly absurd, especially when the cardinal in question was a strong anti-Communist and defender of orthodoxy when many in the Church and throughout the world believed the future belonged to détente with the Soviets and social liberalism in the West.
Not only did Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Karol Wojtyla (the future John Paul II) rise to the top, but all three of them also survived assassination attempts, collaborated in the miraculous peaceful liberation of Eastern Europe from Soviet Communism, and reinvigorated their respective countries and the West. They were beacons of optimism cutting through the malaise and despair that afflicted 1970s America, strike-ridden and economically moribund post-imperial Britain, and a Catholic Church rocked by social and sexual revolutions.
In The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister, veteran journalist and former Thatcher speechwriter John O'Sullivan reveals:
● How Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul developed as strong and individual leaders, perfectly suited to take power when liberalism failed How John Paul's papal visit to Poland in June 1979 led to the birth of the Solidarity labor union
● How the pope's moral undermining of Communism worried the Soviet Politburo more than any military threat
● Why Thatcher's handling of the Falklands crisis was a turning point in the Cold War
● How Reagan arranged for the pope to receive U.S. intelligence on developments in the Soviet bloc
● Reagan's reluctant support for the nuclear "balance of terror" and how he gratefully adopted the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) as an effective alternative
● The Soviets' attempts to lure the pope into an anti-SDI campaign and his refusal
● How Reagan's refusal to compromise with Gorbachev in Reykjavik precipitated the unraveling of Soviet power
● How Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul II restored optimism and hope to their people
Today, as we face a new and perhaps even deadlier enemy than Soviet Communism, we need to revisit the powerful lessons taught by these three great leaders who revived the faith, prosperity, and freedom of the West.
John O'Sullivan covered the Reagan presidency as a Washington columnist, was a special adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and has written regularly on Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church's influence on international relations. A veteran journalist in Britain and the United States, he was the editor in chief of National Review, The National Interest, Policy Review, and United Press International, editorial page editor of the New York Post, op-ed and editorial page editor for the London Times, and an editor with the London Daily Telegraph. He is currently editor at large for National Review, a weekly columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, and a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute. A Commander of the British Empire and founder of the New Atlantic Initiative, he divides his time between his apartment in Washington, D.C., his home in Decatur, Alabama, and frequent trips to Britain, Europe, and Latin America.