God and Ronald Reagan

God and Ronald Reagan

4.8 13
by Paul Kengor
     
 

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Ronald Reagan is hailed today for a presidency that restored optimism to America, engendered years of economic prosperity, and helped bring about the fall of the Soviet Union. Yet until now little attention has been paid to the role Reagan's personal spirituality played in his political career, shaping his ideas, bolstering his resolve, and ultimately compelling

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Overview

Ronald Reagan is hailed today for a presidency that restored optimism to America, engendered years of economic prosperity, and helped bring about the fall of the Soviet Union. Yet until now little attention has been paid to the role Reagan's personal spirituality played in his political career, shaping his ideas, bolstering his resolve, and ultimately compelling him to confront the brutal -- and, not coincidentally, atheistic -- Soviet empire.

In this groundbreaking book, political historian Paul Kengor draws upon Reagan's legacy of speeches and correspondence, and the memories of those who knew him well, to reveal a man whose Christian faith remained deep and consistent throughout his more than six decades in public life. Raised in the Disciples of Christ Church by a devout mother with a passionate missionary streak, Reagan embraced the church after reading a Christian novel at the age of eleven. A devoted Sunday-school teacher, he absorbed the church's model of "practical Christianity" and strived to achieve it in every stage of his life.

But it was in his lifelong battle against communism -- first in Hollywood, then on the political stage -- that Reagan's Christian beliefs had their most profound effect. Appalled by the religious repression and state-mandated atheism of Bolshevik Marxism, Reagan felt called by a sense of personal mission to confront the USSR. Inspired by influences as diverse as C.S. Lewis, Whittaker Chambers, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, he waged an openly spiritual campaign against communism, insisting that religious freedom was the bedrock of personal liberty. "The source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual," he said in his Evil Empire address. "And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man."

From a church classroom in 1920s Dixon, Illinois, to his triumphant mission to Moscow in 1988, Ronald Reagan was both political leader and spiritual crusader. God and Ronald Reagan deepens immeasurably our understanding of how these twin missions shaped his presidency -- and changed the world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061744310
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/17/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
234,833
File size:
840 KB

Meet the Author

Paul Kengor is the author of the New York Times extended-list bestseller God and Ronald Reagan as well as God and George W. Bush and The Crusader. He is a professor of political science and director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College. He lives with his wife and children in Grove City, Pennsylvania.

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God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So many biographies of our 40th President have left the impression that Ronald Reagan was difficult to understand. His official biographer, for one - historian Edmund Morris - was apparently so baffled by Reagan that he had to resort to fictionalizing Reagan's life story when he wrote his book 'Dutch.' But now, thanks to Dr. Kengor's superb and scholarly work, we have a book that begins to uncover the real Ronald Reagan. For the first time, Reagan's many years of public policy pronouncements are comprehensively examined in light of his unwavering faith. For the first time, we begin to understand Reagan's motivations and his make-up as we come to realize that his spiritual life and his public life were inexorably intertwined - and that his religious faith had a tremendous, positive impact on public policy. Whether President Reagan's bold, courageous, and timely public declarations about the malevolent intentions of the former Soviet Union, for example, actually accelerated that country's demise may well have to be left to a thorough examination by future historians. But there is no doubt that President Reagan sincerely believed that his faith compelled him to speak the truth about the evils of communism - something that is commonly accepted today but that no politician before him dared to utter. And there is also no doubt that his 'evil empire' speech, all by itself, lifted the hopes and dreams of so many Christians and Jews imprisoned worldwide by communist governments that, to this day, remain intolerant and afraid of all things religious. Reagan's spiritual beliefs made a real difference. Overall, this is a well written, thoroughly documented, and fascinating study. I am grateful to Dr. Kengor for shedding light on this topic and I look forward to his future works.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read several books about President Ronald Reagan which clearly showed his tremendous resolve in taking steps which led to the fall of the Soviet Union and the survival of the freedoms we enjoy in our great country, this book sets forth what propelled Ronald Reagan along this path. Anyone who desires to know and understand Ronald Reagan and his presidency, and why and how he attacked Soviet Communism should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'M ENJOYING THIS BOOK VERY MUCH. I DIDN'T KNOW RELIGION WAS SUCH AN INFLUENCE ON HIS PRESIDENCY. HIS FAITH MADE HIM A GREAT MAN AND PRESIDENT.WISH WE HAD MORE LIKE HIM TODAY.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He tenaciously stood firm on what he believed and was not afraid to make it known to everyone. I hope and pray that we will one day see another like this as the leader of our great country. He truly was a fine man and a great leader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read for people who want to know how to live life with Honor and Dignity
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was already a fan of Ronald Reagan and his presidency, but the reading of this book has opened my eyes to just how great of a person and leader he was. Our Country needs more leaders like he was, seeking God's guidance and will.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr Ronald Reagan was the best PRESIDENT AMERICAN HAS EVER HAD WE NEED HIM BACK NOW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes he was a good president but he is dead so we cant have him back. I would like george w bush back though