God and Ronald Reagan made presidential historian Paul Kengor's name as one of the premier chroniclers of the life and career of the 40th president. With The Crusader, Kengor returns with the one book about Reagan that has not been written: the story of his lifelong crusade against communism and of his dogged and ultimately triumphant effort to overthrow the Soviet Union.
Drawing upon reams of newly declassified presidential papers as well as untapped Soviet media archives and new interviews with key players, Kengor traces Reagan's efforts to target the Soviet Union from his days as governor of California to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of what he famously dubbed the "Evil Empire". The result is a major revision and enhancement of what historians are only beginning to realize: that Reagan not only wished for the collapse of communism but had a deep and specific understanding of what it would take and effected dozens of policy shifts that brought the USSR to its heels within a decade of his presidency.
The Crusader makes use of key sources from behind the Iron Curtain, including one key memo that implicates a major American liberal politician in a scheme to enlist Soviet premier Yuri Andropov to help defeat Reagan's 1984 reelection bid. Such new finds make The Crusader not just a work of extraordinary history but a work of explosive revelation that will be debated as hotly in 2006 as Reagan's policies were in the 1980s.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By e on 15-03-13
Interesting and focused on one subject matter
This book is utterly focused on Reagan's approach to communism. The narrator when quoting Reagan sounds eerily like him. The book begins with Reagan's life as a life guard, through to his election as president and then finally his alzheimers disease. I enjoyed listening to this book whilst walking the dog and cooking and there were several chapters that really captured the essence of the people behind the Iron Curtain. The book covers Reagan's relationship with Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II very well. It also covers and provides evidence of Ted Kennedy's softly softly approach to the Kremlin; often in an undermining way. By the time I listened to this book I was very well informed by Reagan's very personal stamp on his presidency and I think that but for his specific approach to the USSR, it could still be in existence now. This book clearly establishes that the Iron Curtain did not fall accidently. Anyone interested in recent political history and communism should listen to this book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By STORK on 03-09-12
Great research from Paul Kengor
What made the experience of listening to The Crusader the most enjoyable?
Learning about newly released documents that had been previously classified has added so much to the depth of our understanding of importance of Reagan's place in history.
What other book might you compare The Crusader to and why?
The Communist by Kengor. The story of Obama's "Frank". Flip side of the coin.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Daryl on 20-10-13
Whether you like Reagan or not....
Whether you like Reagan or not, you will miss him after reading this book, especially when considering the state of affairs today.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful