Based on extraordinary research: a major reassessment of Ronald Reagan's lifelong crusade to dismantle the Soviet Empire–including shocking revelations about the liberal American politician who tried to collude with USSR to counter Reagan's efforts
Paul Kengor's God and Ronald Reagan made presidential historian Paul Kengor's name as one of the premier chroniclers of the life and career of the 40th president. Now, with The Crusader, Kengor returns with the one book about Reagan that has not been written: The story of his lifelong crusade against communism, and of his dogged–and ultimately triumphant–effort to overthrow the Soviet Union.
Drawing upon reams of newly declassified presidential papers, as well as untapped Soviet media archives and new interviews with key players, Kengor traces Reagan's efforts to target the Soviet Union from his days as governor of California to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of what he famously dubbed the "Evil Empire." The result is a major revision and enhancement of what historians are only beginning to realize: That Reagan not only wished for the collapse of communism, but had a deep and specific understanding of what it would take––and effected dozens of policy shifts that brought the USSR to its heels within a decade of his presidency.
The Crusader makes use of key sources from behind the Iron Curtain, including one key memo that implicates a major American liberal politician–still in office today–in a scheme to enlist Soviet premier Yuri Andropov to help defeat Reagan's 1984 reelection bid. Such new finds make The Crusader not just a work of extraordinary history, but a work of explosive revelation that will be debated as hotly in 2006 as Reagan's policies were in the 1980s.
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About 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Deseres no stars
A few years back, I was having an argument with a (rather liberal) friend of mine about the collapse of European communism. We are both from Europe, but we grew up on different sides of the East-West divide. His was what I came to understand the conventional view of people on the left: the communism collapsed due to its internal contradictions, because it was not the "real" communism, and a string of similar sorts of nonsense. As with many other issues that we argued about, I could not have disagreed more. Indeed, communism had enough of the internal problems that its eventual demise was inevitable, however left to its own devices, the eventual collapse would surely taken many more years, or even decades if not longer to unravel, with incalculable cost in human misery that would have engendered. Those of us who have had the luck to avoid that misery are grateful for all the external pressures exercised on that political system that hastened its demise, in particular the pressure that United States has exercised during all those decades of the Cold War, culminating with the final strong push by president Ronald Reagan and his administration. This book is a valuable record of what motivated Reagan to see the communism for what it really was - an evil system bent on repressing its own citizens. The book documents Reagan's anti-communist stand from his earliest political days, all the way through his years in the office. It gives an invaluable event-by-event chronology of all the systematic and relentless effort that Reagan put into dismantling the communist influence everywhere in the world that culminated in the final collapse of the Soviet Union and its many Eastern European satellite-states. If there is one criticism that I would have against this book, it would be that it sometimes portrays Reagan too one-dimensionally. The reader gets the impression that anti-communism was the only motivator behind this great American president. Nevertheless, this is a great andextremely well researched book and it is extremely valuable to anyone with interest in either Ronald Reagan or the Cold War.