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God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life Paperback – January 18, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
This engaging if hagiographic study argues the seemingly obvious point that the former President's outlook was shaped by his religious beliefs. Political scientist and Hoover Institution fellow Kengor has pored over Reagan's letters and speeches to glean examples of his faith, from his youth as a Disciples of Christ stalwart and Sunday school teacher to his 1988 trip to Moscow, where he lectured Communists from Gorbachev on down on the importance of religious freedom. More devotional than scholarly, Kengor's treatment emphasizes the ex-president's affinities with evangelical Protestantism; Reagan "invited Christ into his life," acknowledged God's "special plan" for him, believed in end-times prophecy and even had his presidency foretold by the Holy Spirit during a prayer circle. Readers troubled by reports of astrology at the Reagan White House are assured that it determined scheduling, not policy, and that only Nancy was really into it. Kengor accepts the links Reagan himself drew between his religious beliefs and his politics, on social issues like school prayer, sex education, and abortion, and most importantly on his anti-Communism, which harped on Soviet religious persecution and consistently identified atheism as Communism's original sin. But the spiritual rootedness Kengor highlights is not exactly of Gandhian proportions. As he too briefly acknowledges, many of Reagan's pious formulations, like the "shining city on a hill" motif and the imprecations against Communist godlessness, were commonplaces of America's "civil religion." In other words, sometimes it's hard to tell where spirituality ends and rhetoric begins.
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.
“A profound character study, an engrossing work of history...a heartbreakingly beautiful love story about one man and his Maker.” (—Peter Robinson, Reagan speechwriter and author of How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life)
“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)
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I loved, loved, loved this book. Paul Kengor did an excellent job protraying how much President Regan's Christianity meant to him. It was wonderful to hear about President Regan's faith, and only confirmed to me how underated his life and Presidential terms were. If only we had political leaders now with the same faith, character and leader ship ablilities. How much better off this country would be.
The book was well written and very informative.
Thanks Paul Kengor for a wonderful biography of President Regan.
the atheist regime in Russia, until I had the opportunity to read this book. He was both bold and persuasive in carrying his message directly to
the Russian people as well as their leaders.
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