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God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  213 ratings  ·  25 reviews
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 con ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by Harper (first published February 1st 2004)
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My earliest political memory is of Richard Nixon resigning from the Presidency. I have vague memories of the end of the Viet Nam War, and I sort of kind of remember President Carter's election in 1976. What I do remember,vividly, is the election of Ronald Reagan. It was 1980; I was eleven years old, and I remember President Reagan as a grandfatherly figure who somehow made me feel safe from the nuclear bombs we were told were threatening to rain down on our heads. I always liked Reagan. I still ...more
Two specific chapters in this book were among the strongest scholarship I've read. While I loved this without them, they definitely earned that coveted 5th star for this rating. Kengor's chapter on Reagan's 'Evil Empire' speech was among the finest chapters I've read when it comes to historical analysis and scholarship. I even used some experiences from this book in a Sunday School lesson I had to teach last week! Reagan's religion was personal and real. He wasn't merely a religious zealot, and ...more
Jeannie Trickett
Mar 26, 2012 Jeannie Trickett rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeannie by: A special lady named Olga
I liked it a lot. I learned quite a bit about the spiritual side of Ronald Reagan. He had a strong faith. He felt very strongly about the oppression of the people in Russia in regards to faith. He believed that they had the right to freedom of religion and he did all he could to make that a reality for them.
It was a very interesting book for me because I learned about the history of Russia and Communism, and I was able to learn more about what went on during Ronald Reagan's presidency in regard'
Enjoyed this book about Reagan and God. Although it should REALLY be called "God, Russia and Ronald Reagan." It starts when Reagan was young and speaks about his faith and where it initiated and how it grew. A great deal of the book reveals how his view of the USSR was shaped by his faith and how he wanted to bring the USSR back to God. Very good book!!
Sep 05, 2008 Missy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
About halfway through, I LOVE this book. While I didn't know it when I picked it up (ie. took it away from Chris while he was busy with Anna on our flight to OH) it is the perfect book for me to read:
For random reasons, I have recently read That Printer of Udell's, Witness and Mere Christianity. There are chapters for each of those three books and their profound effect on Reagan in this book. Also, Kengor was my professor at Grove City! And actually, junior year, I purposely scheduled a class w
For anyone that enjoys American history, this one provides an excellent education on Communism and Reagan's role in dismantling a truly evil system. It is humbling to see how Reagan's faith anchored him throughout the Cold War (and his life) and enabled him to stand by his beliefs amid blistering criticism from the liberal left... the same liberal left that today applauds all he was able to accomplish surrounding the demise of Communism. A truly great book about 'practical' Christianity.

My favor
This extensively foot-noted book gives real insight into what made Ronald Reagan tick. I knew his faith seemed to ground him in many ways, but I didn't realize how deeply his faith impacted his life and decisions, and how far back his Christian roots went. A very helpful book to read in understanding the Reagan years, especially his campaign to help bring Communism to an end, highlighting his spiritual motivation for this over any political motivation. Nice to read about a leader who has a sense ...more
There are plenty of books about Ronald Reagan, but few of them address the influence that Reagan's Christian faith had on him, his presidency, this nation, and the Cold War, and none of them like this book. This book is an essential part of understanding Reagan and understanding his view of and strategy in the Cold War. The chapter on the Moscow summit near the end of his presidency is great. The only downsides of this book are that it does get repetitive at points and is completely non-critical ...more
The premise of the book is very interesting, although not original. I found it to be a bit scattered, and was disappointed by the lack of fresh ideas in the piece. Great for anyone who is clueless that Reagan was a religious man, but the author only sticks to his public statements and addresses, with little evidence that he actually put in the time at the Reagan Presidential Library looking through his papers to give his book the edge it needed.
All of the Reagan bios I have been reading mention Reagan's religious views, but this is the only one that explores where his convictions came from. Kengor describes how Nelle Reagan and their church gave young Reagan the opportunities to learn, serve, lead, and even teach others. After Kengor's description, I found a copy of "That Printer of Udell's" and read it. I'm hoping to read Whittaker Chambers' "Witness" one of these days too.
I don't care for biographies; I prefer fiction to non-fiction. However, this book was assigned to me in my undergraduate history class and I really enjoyed it! It is very well-written and entertaining, inspiring and honest. It made me rethink a lot of things I had previously thought about congressmen and provided some great insight into such an amazing president.
Jason Townsend
A fascinating look at how belief in God shaped the words and deeds of one of the most important men of the latter 20th century.
I found this book to be a fair and honest review of Reagan's religious faith and how he applied to his policies as President. A bit tedious at times, this book is still a must-read for any student of Reagan, Presidential history, or the Cold War. The book addresses the claims that Nancy influenced President Reagan's policies with her astrological beliefs and discusses the impact (or lack thereof) this aspect of Nancy's life had of the Gipper.
Mark Vining
This book chronicles the spiritual battle that, in my opinion, our greatest President went through. Although his life was filled with much adversity, he never gave in and always kept his mind on God. This book is a must-read for all.
Well researched and presented case for a private and not widely known but almost intuitively understood reason for the goodness and decency and clear sense of purpose behind the man.
The Driving Force and Inspiration behind the Life of Reagan....God is first....From Start to Finish...A life driven by that Greater Power....Through HIM, with HIM, and in HIM !!!!
While somewhat unorganized in his presentation, Kengor provides an enormous amount of evidence that President Reagan was guided by a deep Christian faith.
Gina Herald
One of my personal heroes. I enjoyed reading about how Ronald Reagan's faith guided his life from his boyhood through the presidency of the United States.
Rick Hogaboam
A most interesting biography of Reagan and his faith - and how it informed his political engagement, namely his fight against communism.
A very good insight into the influence Christian faith played in Reagan's personal and public/political life. Great book.
We sure could use another Reagan right now!!! A man for all seasons and all people.
Shannon Ferguson
Great biography of Ronald, although a bit scattered at times.
Rachel Wood
Great book about a great man and his relationship with God
Deborah Williams
Great insight into a great man!
Wonderful book!!!! I encourage everyone to read this book. Dr. Kengor
has covered the spiritual side of President Reagan and his constant, faithful efforts to share the Gospel with all within the sound of his voice. Mr. Reagan was an un-wavering apologist for the cause of Christ.
I believe everyone can learn much about having courage in the face of adversity when sharing our faith. After all, we are commanded by Jesus Christ to do just that.....

Thank you, Dr. Kengor, for capturing President Reaga
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Author and politicial science professor.

He is executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, a Grove City College think-tank/policy center.

Kengor has focused much of his work on Ronald Reagan, faith and the presidency, conservative politics, the Cold War, the communist movement, and Catholicism.
More about Paul Kengor...
The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism The Communist DUPES: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century God and George W. Bush : A Spiritual Life 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative

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