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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)
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Praise for God and Ronald Reagan:“God and Ronald Reagan captures the real Ronald Reagan.” (Michael ReaganMichael 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)