Item description for God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life by Paul Kengor...
Overview A presidential historian explores the dramatic influence of Ronald Reagan's religious orientation and spiritual beliefs on his political ideology, policy-making decisions, and attitude toward Soviet communism, in a spiritual biography of the former president. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
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.
Citations And Professional Reviews God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life by Paul Kengor has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Ingram Advance - 02/01/2005 page 32
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Studio: Harper Perennial
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.8" Height: 1.4" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2005
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 006057142X ISBN13 9780060571429 UPC 025986571429
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Kengor
Paul Kengor, Ph.D., is a bestselling author whose works include "Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century"; "God and Ronald Reagan"; and "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism." Pete Larkin, an "AudioFile" Earphones Award winner, has worked in virtually all media. He was the public address announcer for the New York Mets from 1988 to 1993, served as host of WNEW-FM's highly rated "Saturday Morning Sixties" program, and has done hundreds of commercials, promos, and narrations.
Paul Kengor currently resides in Grove City, in the state of Pennsylvania. Paul Kengor was born in 1966 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Grove City College.
Reviews - What do customers think about God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life?
An excellent read. Mar 2, 2005
This book is well-researched, and Dr. Kengor gives us great insight into the faith of Ronald Wilson Reagan and the role that his faith had in his public life. Kengor uses many of Reagan's speeches and writings as well as the memories of those who knew the Gipper well to reveal a man whose faith in Jesus Christ remained deep and consistent through more than 60 years of public life, both in Hollywood and in the political arena. Obviously, Reagan's faith had its greatest influence on his lifelong battle against Communism, beginning in Hollywood and continuing throughout his entire political life. During his "Evil Empire" speech, Reagan said "The source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual...And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man." The President once spoke before a group of evangelical Christians and stated that the Cold War would be won not with bullets, bombs or missiles, but through our nation's great faith in God. By the end of the 1980's, that faith had prevailed and the great Soviet threat had been all but defeated. Following Reagan from his early childhood to his triumphant mission to Moscow, Kengor illustrates how Ronald Reagan, as both a spiritual leader and as a political leader changed the world, and changed the course of America, for the better.
Historical--and spiritually moving! Nov 15, 2004
I just loved this book! It was not only an interesting history lesson, but one of the most spiritually-inspiring books I've ever read. I am planning to get "That Printer of Udell's" to satisfy my curiousity about this book that had such a profound effect of Reagan's childhood. I'm also interested in reading Whittaker Chamber's "Witness." Wow--one good book just leads to others! Anyway, "God and Ronald Reagan" is an amazing book that I highly recommend to anyone. (I'm under thirty, and I loved it, so I hope other young people will as well.)
Accurate, Factual and Excellent Piece of Work! Sep 29, 2004
I just finished reading the book, "God and Ronald Reagan, a Spiritual Life". Although I was voting when Ronald Reagan was elected, I was unaware of or had forgotten his mission and his boldness in speaking the truth. In a world now that has either forgotten the evil that Communism was and still is or has been duped into thinking that there no longer is good and evil just differing viewpoints, it was so refreshing to be reminded of the truth.
I was absolutely amazed at how forthright and uncompromising Ronald Reagan was. Professor Kengor does a superb job of setting the stage for all Ronald Reagan would do as President by describing in great detail his mother, his father, his church, his acting and time in leadership there, and his GE job which gave him great opportunity to hone his public speaking skills and his message of freedom of religion.
I was so impressed with how Ronald Reagan carefully chose his words and took advantage of the opportunities presented to him, especially in Chapter 18, "Missionary to Moscow". He just never backed down, even when his advisors told him should. And, the words of truth he spoke to the Communist USSR. He never wavered from his core of religious beliefs.
Truly inspiring! What a man he was! It is clear that Professor Kengor painstakingly researched and wrote this book, with the desire to be factually accurate and to show us another side of Ronald Reagan that was perhaps unknown to us. This is a book worth reading!
Excellent Summation Sep 28, 2004
Professor Kengor's book provides an excellent and thorough review of how Reagan's faith permeated his entire life, from his childhood in Illinois to his presidency. It is especially compelling to read the descriptions of how deeply Reagan drew on his Christian faith when combatting one of the chief evils of the past century: Communism. (By way of contrast, the book describes the snippy reactions of the secular elite who thought it was boorish for Reagan to speak of Communism's atheistic evil.) Kengor's book provides a superb antidote to those who have fallen for the myth that Reagan wasn't much of a believer insofar as he didn't often attend church as President (in fact, he was nervous about security, especially after the assassination attempt, and didn't want to force other churchgoers to be searched every Sunday). In short, a wonderful and readable book that should be of interest to many.
I just loved this wonderful book and both subjects! Sep 17, 2004
One of the most exciting days of my life was election day 1980 when Ronald Reagan swept into office. I've loved Ronald Reagan ever since. I used to say during his presidency that I loved him more every morning than I did the night before when I went to bed. OK, I'm a rabid Ronald Reagan fan.
So, my wife gave this book to me for my birthday. For months I looked at it on my shelf and ignored it believing it to be an over-the-top evangelical perspective that, through its emphasis on Reagan's religiosity, would somehow miss the "real" Reagan. Boy, was I wrong! Before this book, I had no idea what a central role religion, and a formal religious upbringing played in Reagan's life.
This book captured the "true" Reagan as well any other I've ever read and I've read plenty on this great man. This book tells a story that is both informative and inspirational.
In fact, understanding Reagan and his conservative philosophy without placing it in the context of his religious upbringing and his religious beliefs is to incompletely understand the man and his philosophy.
This book begins in Dixon with the young Dutch and the ever present saintly Nell, who was the first of two major influences in Reagan's life. The second of course being his wife Nancy.
Later, we are introduced to the unmistakable influence Whittaker Chambers played in Reagan's life. We're introduced Reagan's General Electric years and how he formulated his anti-communist pro-freedom philosophy. We're introduced to his Goldwater speech at the 1964 Republican convention. All of the major episodes in Regan's life are told intertwining his political and religious beliefs into the coherent whole that WAS Ronald Reagan.
More than anything this book emphasizes how extraordinary a man Ronald Reagan was. He wasn't just a bright fellow with a gift for telling stories who happened to adopt a winning conservative philosophy, but was an extraordinarily thoughtful intelligent spiritual man who prepared his entire life not for public office, but to become the exceptional man who would grace our country with his leadership.
If you love Ronald Reagan, if you love Truth, if you love God, if you find inspiration from Reagan's metaphorical reference to a shining city on the hill, if you loved his speeches at Normandy, if you were overcome by emotion during Reagan's funeral services, if you are optimistic and find inspiration in God's wonderful world this book will bring you a happiness and contentment you will cherish.