Item description for The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World by John O'Sullivan...
Overview An analysis of the legacies of Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher focuses on their works between 1978 and 1981, the years when they revived their respective arenas and narrowly escaped assassination attempts.
Publishers Description The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister is a sweeping, dramatic account of how three great figures changed the course of history. All of them led with courage--but also with great optimism. The pope helped ordinary Poles and East Europeans banish their fear of Soviet Communism, convincing them that liberation was possible. The prime minister restored her country's failing economy by reviving the "vigorous virtues" of the British people. The president rebuilt America's military power, its national morale, and its pre-eminence as leader of the free world. Together they brought down an evil empire and changed the world for the better. No one can tell their intertwined story better than John O'Sullivan, former editor of National Review and the Times of London, who knew all three and conducted exclusive interviews that shed extraordinary new light on these giants of the twentieth century.
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Studio: Regnery Publishing, Inc.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.3" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Nov 6, 2006
Publisher Regnery Publishing, Inc.
ISBN 1596980168 ISBN13 9781596980167
Availability 0 units.
More About John O'Sullivan
John O'Sullivan is the founder of the Changing the Game Project, and currently coaches for the Portland Timbers Youth Academy of Major League Soccer. For the past two decades he has been a successful soccer coach on the youth, high school and collegiate level. He is a former NCAA Division I soccer player, and played professionally for the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL. John speaks nationwide to coaches, parents and young athletes about developing athletic excellence and leadership within positive sporting environments. He is a 1994 graduate of Fordham University, and received his Masters Degree from the University of Vermont in 2003. John holds an "A" License from the US Soccer Federation and a National Youth Coaching License from US Youth Soccer.
Reviews - What do customers think about The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World?
My favorite book so far Nov 12, 2008
I initially bought this book because I admire all three of these leaders. They each had to be in place for the Cold War to end peacefully and in the way that it did. John O'Sullivan had access to resources that gives an inside look into the events of the time. I now have a greater understanding of the Cold War and a greater appreciation of these three leaders. O'Sullivan gives a detailed description of each leader's rise to power, strength in crisis, and contributions to the end of the Cold War. Very inspiring. I encourage everyone to read it.
The President The Pope and The Prime Minister Oct 11, 2007
3 people who advanced democracy around the world. Principals over politics. Today we only have wimps instead of statesmen like these three
Two Great Men, One Great Woman Jul 15, 2007
There is a theory in history called the Great Man Theory, which seeks to explain the events of history principally by looking at the impact of pivotal men and women who played a role in world events. On it's most simplistic level, the theory does make some sense. It's hard to imagine the American Revolution happening the way it did without the role played by men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or even King George III. It's equally hard to imagine World War II and all that has happened since without taking into account the individual decisions and personalities of Roosevelt, Churchill, Hitler, and Stalin.
The academic left, though, has generally rejected the Great Man Theory and looks to economic, technological, and other factors to explain history. To them, the role of the individual in history is insignificant compared to the role that these "forces" play. What they forget, of course, is that economics, technology, and culture are all created by individuals. So arguing that "forces" rule history and that individual's are irrelevant is inherently irrational.
In reading The President, The Pope, And The Prime Minister, it's easy to see where John O'Sullivan comes down in this debate. He clearly believes that individuals play a vital role in history, and considering the three individuals he profiles -- Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher -- it's hard to argue with him.
The hyopthesis of O'Sullivan's book is fairly straightforward. Three individuals who, in the years just before they came to power, were believed to be outside of the mainstream of 1970s era thinking worked together, sometimes at cross purposes and often not consciously, to change the world by putting in place forces that led to the downfall of the Soviet Empire and the remaking of the world.
As O'Sullivan makes clear, the spark was lit in October 1978 when the Catholic Church did the unthinkable by electing a non-Italian Pope for the first time in over 450 years. And not only a non-Italian, put a man who came from behind the Iron Curtain and who had spent much of his career as a priest and bishop resisting tyranny, first from the Nazis and then from the Communists. His election set off a firestorm in Poland that led directly to the formation of Solidarity and its preservation through nearly a decade of martial law.
O'Sullivan also pays considerable attention to former President Reagan, his dealings with the Soviet Union, and, most interestingly, his view of the role of nuclear weapons in the Cold War. Though it was not generally known at the time, and goes against what was being said about Reagan by his critics and even some of his supporters, it has become fairly clear in the years since he left office from the release of private writings that Reagan despised nuclear weapons and pursued a policy that had as its conscious goal their eventual elimination. While some might consider this attitude naive (after all, you can't put the nuclear genie back in the bottle), it sheds a new light on his approach to negotiations with the Soviets and the SDI program. Reagan knew that the Soviets could not compete with America technologically, and that they would never give up their nuclear arsenal willingly. So, he essentially played a waiting game until the "correlation of forces", to borrow a Marxist phrase, were such that that Soviets had no choice but to make a deal in a last ditch effort to save first their empire, and then their very existence.
Reagan told John Paul about his views on nuclear weapons, the Soviets, and the future of Europe early on. And the Holy Father clearly supported these views, as evidenced by the fact that while Catholic Bishops in the United States often spoke out against U.S. foreign policy in the 1980s (sometimes to the consternation of the Vatican), the Holy See rarely did.
O'Sullivan's perspective on Thatcher, and her relationships with Reagan, the Pope, and the Soviets are interesting especially given his connections to the British Conservative Party. What is clear, though, is that even Thatcher herself, clearly one of Reagan's closest friends in world politics, had no idea just how idealistic he was.
This book isn't ground breaking academic research, but it offers an interesting perspective on the life, times, and historical impact on three people who clearly changed the world for the better.
Ron, Maggie and the Pope Jun 3, 2007
I read one review that said that they weren't on the same planet as these three leaders were doing their work. I was also on a different planet. I got so disilusioned with the Carter years that I completely turned politics off, and only took care of me and my family. As the years accumilated and GHW Bush became president, I had to return to reality. I have learned a lot about Reagan and JPII over the last few years especially after Mr. Reagan's death. Maggie is still an enigma to me. I want to really like her, but I understand that she was a real bugger to work for while Reagan was wonderful and of course JPII was a saint. Not to be outdone, Mikail was a horrible leader and was the primary reason, along with the decline of the Russian economy, crop disasters and an inempt military, Russia would have self destructed, I think, without much trouble. But the pressure that these THREE placed on the communist system from within is what crumpled the horrible experiment.
Along with Peggy Noonan's two books, one on Reagan and the other on John Paul II, this one is one of the best of the events of Reagans presidency and John Paul's term.
I recommend this book for anyone who want's to get to know how the wall fell and how God can help.
History as it should be written: fact-filled, detached and light on the bias May 28, 2007
Very readable, smooth flowing inter-weaving of the stories of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II and how, working together, they changed the world. This is history as it should be written. Fact-filled. Detached. Light on the bias. Fascinating. The book is quick to read and hard to put down.
This is the story of three disparate personalities and their unlikely (and synchronous) rises to power. The elderly B-movie actor. The school-marmish scold. The non-Italian Catholic living under the thumb of officially atheistic communism. Together, they defeat the scourge of communism while simultaneously rescuing their respective polities from the slow death spiral of the 60s and 70s, whether than be Reagan resurrecting American swagger and putting the U.S. economy on sound footing, or Thatcher curing Britain of Euro-sclerosis, or the Holy Father rescuing the Catholic church for the suffocating forces of modernism and "reform."
This is an essential history of late 20th Century America and Great Britain. It is an essential history of the recent Catholic church. It is also very much a history of Poland, for it is that land that it is at the center of this narrative. Ronald Reagan always believed that the key to ending the Cold War lay with Poland. And it is events in Poland, from the papal visits, to the strike at the Gdansk shipyard, from the martial law of Jaruszelski, to the rise of Lech Walesa and Solidarity, that shape this story. Reagan's insight into the centrality of Poland proved astonishingly right.
This book is not just for us Republicans. For example, one Carter Era figure prominently and positively figures in events here: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter's national security advisor. Brzezinski has not gotten enough credit for seizing control of events in Poland from the late Carter administration through the Reagan administration. This book gives him delayed credit.
Two (minor) criticisms of this book. First, the Holy Father drops out of the narrative, for the most part, in the last third of the book. More Pope, please! Second, the equation of the bombing of Mrs. Thatcher's hotel in 1984, does not really parallel the 1981 assassination attempts on President Reagan and Pope John Paul II. It's a reach that doesn't work. But these are very minor blemishes on a masterful book.