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God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life Paperback – January 18, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Paul Kengor now reveals the inner heart and soul of this great man.” (—Judge William P. Clark, National Security Advisor, Reagan Administration)
“Paul Kengor takes the reader to depths where no other writer has yet been—Ronald Reagan’s very soul. ” (—Peter Schweizer, author of Reagan's War)
“God and Ronald Reagan fundamentally transforms the historical view of Ronald Reagan and his place in the 20th century.” (—Donald M. Goldstein, co-author of At Dawn We Slept)
“Paul Kengor has performed a masterful service by shining a light on this underappreciated but central aspect of Reagan’s life.” (—Steven F. Hayward, author of The Age of Reagan)
“[A] superb book—no interpretation of Ronald Reagan will be complete without reference to this vital work.” (—Stephen Knott, Ronald Reagan Oral History Project, University of Virginia)
“In this meticulously researched and insightful book, Paul Kengor finds the ultimate source of Ronald Reagan’s resolve against communism.” (—Andrew E. Busch, author of Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Freedom)
“God and Ronald Reagan deepens our understanding of Reagan’s life and the times in which he governed.” (—Matthew Dallek, author of The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan's First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics)
“Illuminates the role of faith in the life and worldview of one of the 20th century’s most important figures.” (—Rich Lowry, editor-in-chief, National Review)
“Illuminates the role of faith in the life and worldview of one of the 20th century’s most important figures.” (—Lee Edwards, Distinguished Fellow, Heritage Foundation, and author of Ronald Reagan: A Political Biography)
“Paul Kengor has written an excellent book which explores a previously neglected aspect of Reagan’s life—his religious faith.” (—Edwin Meese III, Reagan administration Attorney General)
“In the vast body of Reagan scholarship, what’s been missing is a spiritual biography. Kengor has admirably supplied our need.” (—Robert P. George, Princeton University)
“A penetrating history of the President’s evolving religious faith and its articulation in different settings during his career.” (—Kenneth W. Thompson, University of Virginia)
“Paul Kengor offers not only a thorough history of Reagan’s religious development but a good and sardonic eye for detail.” (—Marvin Olasky, professor, University of Texas at Austin and editor-in-chief of World magazine)
“Paul Kengor’s book offers a deeper understanding than can be found in any of the conventional academic literature.” (—Hugh Heclo, Robinson Professor of Public Affairs, George Mason University)
“For anyone who believes Christianity and politics don’t mix needs to read this work on an American president.” (—David A. Noebel, Summit Ministries)
“God and Ronald Reagan makes an important contribution to our understanding of the last major president of the 20th century.” (—Ryan J. Barilleaux, Miami University of Ohio)
“The conservative Christian who rarely went to church. That is the conundrum most pundits used to refer to Ronald Reagan when discussing his reltionship to religion. God and Ronald Reagan helps us finally come to grips wiht the man and the presidency taht was Ronald Reagan. From childhood to the Cold War, Paul Kengor has unearthed the Ropnald Reagan most of knew was there but which few of us had the chance to see. Enjoyable and enlightening.” (—Gary L. Gregg, Ph.D., Mitch McConnell Chair in Leadership, director, McConnell Center for Political Leadership, University of Louisville)
“Paul Kengor has addressed a critical issue in today’s study of the American Presidency: how religious background influences presidential decisions. This is a book particularly important to presidential scholars who are assessing President George W. Bush and how he too has interwoven his political and religious beliefs in presidential decisions.” (—Shirley Anne Warshaw, Professor, Department of political science, Gettysburg College)
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Top Customer Reviews
Paul Kengor does just that - he examines the impact that of Reagan's faith on Reagan's presidency. The interaction between the two may seem obvious to some, but not all of us are part of a generation that remembers much about Reagan. Hearing about the collapse of the Soviet Union is nearly the only thing I remember from second grade, and having read this book, I know a great deal more about the man everyone was making such a big fuss about at the time. Like him or not, I don't think it is possible to understand the Cold War without understanding Ronald Reagan.
Is it hagiographical? I suppose any biography could be, depending on one's perspective, but although Dr. Kengor admires Reagan, I do not find that any more honor is given than what is due.
In the end, it is not a difficult read, and it is footnoted well enough to satisfy those with abundant curiousity and free time. Kengor doesn't assume too much about his readers; the book stands well by itself, and it is not necessary to be a political scientist to understand it. I recommend it without any reservations.
Paul is a very warm guy with a wry sense of humor, and it is apparent in his style. He expected reviews like the one from Publishers Weekly, which is part of the reason why there are nearly 60 pages of footnotes, the other part is that he is a scholar and takes his craft seriously.
So seriously, in fact, that this book was an accident. Kengor was curious how Reagan fought the Cold War and set out to research it. He was struck by how much Reagan's faith influenced his decisions and decided to change tacks. Not one to simply rehash existing records, his research included interviews with family members, co-workers, and friends. Many of his sources are written by Reagan's own hand.
If you are not a Christian, you will be prone to look down on this book because of its discussion of spirituality. I challenge you to read this book with a truly open mind.
Reagan is often criticized as being rather dim-witted. He also was known for being humble and rather soft-spoken. The criticism all stops at the argument that Reagan almost single-handedly toppled the USSR. He did. It was his resolve and leadership. God has a very ironic sense of humor. This dim-witted, meek, and quiet guy did what no one else could. Sounds like irony to me, the simple shaming the scholars.
Read the book; make your own judgments.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anything about my favorite President is the greatest. Tooooo bad we don't have a leader today who loves America like Reagan did.Published 1 month ago by lindaltodd
Well written and an in-depth, objective look at President Reagan's Christian beliefs.Published 1 month ago by FuzzyBlackLips
Terrific book that takes an honest look into Reagan's character as a human being and into his presidency.
I was in my early 20s when Reagan was elected president, and a child living in CA when he was governor. What a wonderful leader, and how we need another Reagan now!Published 5 months ago by Janet E. Senatore
O'Reilly Failed - This book succeeds in knowing Who is the Real Ronald Reagan 💙Published 7 months ago by Carmellinda
It was amazing to see how many times Reagan used God and his faith in his speaking and writing. So many of the speeches we would have never have heard and the media certainly... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Pam
President Reagan...there are many good sources to consider, but I have not found any others that tell this story. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sharon