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The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism Hardcover – October 17, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
In this hagiographic account, political scientist Kengor (God and Ronald Reagan) makes the familiar case (made most recently by John Lewis Gaddis in The Cold War) that Reagan played a decisive role in ending the Cold War. Reagan was troubled by communism well before he arrived at the White House. As a young man in Hollywood, he railed against the red threat, and as early as 1967, he called for the destruction of the Berlin Wall. As president, Reagan engaged in "economic warfare," invaded Grenada and proved that the Soviets couldn't win an arms race against the U.S. Though "those enslaved by the Soviet Communist state" didn't find freedom until after the Reagan administration, Dutch gets the credit. And what of other major figures who contributed to the Cold War's end? Gorbachev, of course, figures prominently, and John Paul II makes significant appearances—Kengor credits the pope with helping turn Reagan's attention to Poland. Ted Kennedy, on the other hand, emerges as a sneak and a dupe, willing to undermine U.S. foreign policy and make nice with the Russians. The book's structure is somewhat stilted—each chapter is broken up into short chunks, so it feels as though one is reading not a sweeping narrative, but an annotated time line of Reagan's presidency. While the book is workmanlike, the chronology is useful and the footnotes reveal an impressive amount of research. (Oct. 17)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Praise for God and Ronald Reagan: “God and Ronald Reagan captures the real Ronald Reagan.” (Michael Reagan Michael Reagan)
Praise for God and Ronald Reagan: “A profound character study, and engrossing work of history…” (Peter Robinson, author of How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life)
Praise for God and Ronald Reagan: “Fascinating… This is a must-read piece of political history.” (Donald M. Goldstein, coauthor of At Dawn We Slept)
Praise for God and George W. Bush: “Excellent” (National Review)
Praise for God and George W. Bush: “A wealth of material.” (National Catholic Reporter)
“Combining great story-telling with his commitment to scholarly detail, Paul Kengor has written an important and fascinating book.” (Peter Schweizer, author of Do As I Say Not As I Do and Reagan's War)
“While many have tried, few have succeeded in telling such a complete history of my dad’s greatest triumph.” (Michael Reagan)
“Paul Kengor’s latest book illuminates a side of the man evident only to those closest to him.” (Bill Clark, National Security Advisor 1982-1983)
Top customer reviews
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Ted Kennedy "the Lion of the Senate" colluded with the Russians to defeat Reagan during the '84 election.
The conventional wisdom that Reagan was aloof and unable to keep track of what was happening during his presidency is absolutely decimated by the author's research. The original biographies of Reagan written by Cannon and Morris were written from a liberal perspective, and with very little information available. The passage of time means documents become unclassified, and those documents show a President with a laser-like focus on burying communism and spreading freedom. Reagan's aides all admit that he was the driving force behind our foreign policy all along.
The other aspect of the book that I most enjoyed was the frequent references to Soviet media and elite opinion, which was apoplectic during the early '80s as they figured out that Reagan was not about to play nice with them. Anyone who credits only Gorbachev for bringing democracy to the communist bloc will not think that way after reading this book. He deserves some credit, but as the author states it was never Gorbachev's goal to end communism. That goal was Reagan's alone, so how can he not get the overwhelming majority of the credit? Reagan forced Gorbachev's hand, pure and simple.
The greatest accomplishment by a President since WW2 was taking over a country with a serious inferiority complex and terrible economy in 1981, and transforming it into the strongest nation in the world and the outright victor in the Cold War in eight short years. I urge everyone to read this book if for no other reason than to understand that great leadership in Washington is possible, and big dreams do come true if you're willing to fight for them.
Most recent customer reviews
Shouldn't the title really be: The Dissolver: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the...Read more