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God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life
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God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  260 Ratings  ·  29 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
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 18th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published February 1st 2004)
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Mark Mortensen
May 24, 2016 Mark Mortensen rated it really liked it
Having read an assortment of biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and diaries of President Reagan I wondered if there was enough substance to fulfill a book titled “God and Ronald Reagan”. The answer is absolutely. Additionally I was pleased to see fresh information on the life of Reagan. Through Dr. Kengor’s research it is apparent God was the central focus in Reagan’s life beginning with roots in childhood. Hollywood and politics alters the vision of many however Reagan maintained a steady sp ...more
Michael
May 27, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
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
Sarah
Oct 25, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Andrew S.
Jun 25, 2016 Andrew S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: form-iii
Walk away from the arguments that "Reagan barely went to church during his presidency" and conspiracies over astrology (which have been debunked), and you will find a devout Christian gentleman. In this book, Dr. Paul Kengor guides you from Dixon, IL to the Oval Office in relation to his faith. With the great influence of his mother, Nelle Reagan, Rev. Cleaver, and a book "That Printer of Udell's", "Dutch" is able to have a solid Christian foundation that would sustain him for the rest of his li ...more
Jeff
Feb 14, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing
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'
...more
Sue
May 11, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it
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!!
Missy
Sep 05, 2008 Missy is currently reading it
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
...more
Jeff
Jul 29, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it
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
Jason
May 17, 2008 Jason rated it really liked it
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
Amy
Feb 03, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
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.
Lisa
Nov 21, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
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.
Sarah
Feb 21, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
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.
Richard Knobloch
Great insight on a great man

This book tells Reagan's religious roots and describes how he used God to not only obtain the presidency, but to end communism in Soviet Russia. Great book with great references. A must read for anyone interested in learning who Reagan really was.
Jason Townsend
Jul 20, 2015 Jason Townsend rated it it was amazing
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.
Mitch
May 14, 2014 Mitch rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2011 Mark Vining rated it it was amazing
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.
Jeff
Jul 21, 2012 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Patrick
Jun 26, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing
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 !!!!
John
Feb 29, 2008 John rated it liked it
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
Apr 19, 2011 Gina Herald rated it really liked it
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
Feb 18, 2014 Rick Hogaboam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A most interesting biography of Reagan and his faith - and how it informed his political engagement, namely his fight against communism.
Lauren
Jun 03, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing
A very good insight into the influence Christian faith played in Reagan's personal and public/political life. Great book.
Nick Spencer
Jul 20, 2016 Nick Spencer rated it it was ok
Shelves: work
freedom, destiny, angels, etc
Judy
Jun 06, 2012 Judy rated it it was amazing
We sure could use another Reagan right now!!! A man for all seasons and all people.
Shannon Ferguson
Aug 24, 2010 Shannon Ferguson rated it liked it
Great biography of Ronald, although a bit scattered at times.
Rachel Wood
Jul 16, 2013 Rachel Wood rated it it was amazing
Great book about a great man and his relationship with God
Deborah Williams
Great insight into a great man!
Cynthia
Feb 09, 2010 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Travis Graham
Travis Graham marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2016
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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...

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