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The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism
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The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  19 reviews
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 lif
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Harper (first published 2006)
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4.23  · 
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 ·  159 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Bojan Tunguz
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 disa ...more
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
To all who feel Ronald Reagan was a sweet talking, below average intelligent dolt whose only role in ending the Cold War was simply being in the right place at the right time, read this book! You are wrong! Through meticulous and broad research using dozens of recently declassified documents from both the Americans and Soviets as well as in- depth interviews with key players on both sides, this book proves that Ronald Reagan's hand in ending the Cold War was not only guided by his own intelligen ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Paul Kengor, a professor at Grove City College, has written a number of books, and I've enjoyed each one of them. He's excellent at writing biographic sketches of people, backed by good academic work, but doing an excellent job of discussing the actual person, as a person, and what made them tick. This is his best book yet, because his scholarship is just getting stronger and more thorough, and he's getting better and better at weaving it in to his personal biographic sketches.

This one is heavy
Hank Pharis
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
We all know that Reagan called on Gorbachev to tear down the wall but I had no idea how Reagan had purposely worked for the overthrow of the Soviet Union for decades. He first announced this goal in 1967. He did amazing things that I had never heard about before. For example, he knew that the Soviet economy was struggling so he kept expanding our defense spending. At one point the U.S. was spending twice Russia's GDP on our defense. The Russians finally realized that there was no way they could ...more
Dec 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an enjoyable read and makes a strong case that Reagan was one of the greatest American presidents. However, it focuses primarily on Reagan's foreign policy exploits; so don't expect to find much detail about his economic policies.

Regardless, the foreign policy anecdotes are excellent. For example, in 1981 the French brought what was called the "Farewell Dossier" to the attention of U.S. intelligence agencies and Reagan's National Security Staff. A Soviet defector by the name of Colonel
Nov 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Paul Kengor's book is an interesting look at the Reagan legacy with regards to foreign policy. While a Reagan booster and fan of the president I think this book goes to far in asserting what Reagan knew about the downfall of the Soviet Union. Underscored in the Kengor's points is one key difference the Reagan often does not get enough credit for which is that Reagan was the first president who believed the Soviet Union could be defeated. To say however that he came in with a plan to destroy the ...more
Ryan Splenda
This is the first historical book that I've read on Ronald Reagan. I bought it about five years ago, and never got around to it. I finally decided to give it a go, and I was both concerned and surprised.

Although Paul Kengor presents a very partial view of the overall Reagan Administration, I can not argue with the historical evidence he used in trying to prove his thesis that Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War. There were very compelling points he made throughout the book, especially Reagan's use
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this one. It was so amazing. I only thought Reagan was my hero before. He is firmly my favorite president in the history of our nation. Only Washington and Lincoln equal him in true greatness, But for me Reagan eclipses them. He was MY president. I wish I had been old enough to vote for him.

Well, about the book...

Kengor creates a cohesive and meticulously documented portrait of a perceptive and purposeful Cold Warrior who never had any foreign policy goal other that the destructi
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved this story as it focused on just one aspect of Ronald Regan on his presidency. The book is about his personal war against communism and the Soviet Union. Truly an inspiring read! Even if you were not a fan of Regan, you can appreciate his dedication to what he felt was an egregious human rights violation.

The most shocking thing - to me - was the information about Ted Kennedy and his attempts to contact Yuri Andropov to help sway the American Presidential Election in 1984. Incredible. I'd n
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: political
This is an excellent book. Ronald Reagan was an amazing leader with such a clear mission. He had vision of what the world could be and he never waivered in his actions in accomplishing this. He truly has been one of the best leaders this country and the world for that matter has ever seen. Anyone interested in learning about what Reagan accomplished should read this book. In fact, I would go so far as recommending this book to anyone. It is an important part of our history that needs to be remem ...more
Donald Barnett
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone that thinks the Soviet Union fell of it's own accord should read this. This book details the steps that were directed by Ronald Reagan to demolish communism in the Soviet Union and around the world. Our current president is the first one that should read this book. Will we ever have another president that understands what made America great?
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book details through thorough archival research and interviews the methods that the "Great Communicator" employed to undercut Communism from 1981-89. Having never read an entire book specifically about Reagan before, I am glad I learned about the inner workings of his administration and the ideas and persistence of the man himself.
Nov 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, easy read which describes how Reagan proactively went after the Soviet Communists early in his administration. The book tells a lot of what went on behind the scenes during the 80s, most of which no one ever realized or discussed since it was secret. Important book.
Sharolyn Griffith
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well done, Kengor. Shows pointedly how Reagan really was the optimistic crusader against communism and believed the Soviet Union could fall. Loved the bookends about his lifeguarding on Rock River and how that confidence carried him through on such a "crusade." Great read.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: own
Great Read from my Son!
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Great indepth biography of Ronald Reagan
GySgt. DD Barton Ret
Excellent Book to help you understand the 80's and Reagan's Administration and the Cold War.
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Reagan oli ainuke sirge seljaga Lääne poliitik, kes võttis eesmärgiks mitte kommunismi ohjeldamise, vaid selle hävitamise.
Ja ta tegi seda.
Ja ma olen talle selle eest tänulik.
Thank you, Dutch!
Nov 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-of-2010
OK. Reagan's life-long crusade against communism and socialism.
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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.