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24 July 2010

Reagan's War-Peter Schweizer

Reagan's War:  The Epic Story of his Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism  by Peter Schweizer

Schweizer wrote, "The 'one big thing' Reagan knew was the power and value of human freedom, which proved to be the defining principle of his worldview."

Many Americans know little about our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, and his life's work, a war against communism.  Reagan has been portrayed by some as an "absentee" president or an "empty headed dolt", however after reading Schweizer's book, I cannot agree.  In fact, the man may well have been a genius, at least concerning his views and strategies in combating the spread of communism and ending the Cold War.

Schweizer explains that to understand Reagan, you must understand his battle against communism.  This most important struggle at first left his life in ruins, ending his marriage to Jane Wyman and straining his relationship with his children.  It also led him to Nancy, whom he loved dearly, and of course, to the Presidency of the United States of America where his policies directly led to the downfall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.  While some may attempt to disagree, the secret records now released and quoted in Schweizer's book, including sources from the U.S.A., Germany, Poland, Hungary, Russia, and even the K.G.B.'s file on Ronald Reagan leave little, if any, room for dissension on this point.

Far from dry or dull, this true, yet fascinating tale will hold readers on the edge of their seats.  Death threats and assassination attempts plagued him because of his work.  Calculated military directives ordered by Reagan changed the course of the Cold War.  Brutal honesty on his part convinced the K.G.B. that he was a man "who saw word and deed as one", and they respectfully feared him, as he would not, and could not be persuaded to compromise his principles, nor would he be deterred from his course of action.  In the world of politics, he was the rare exception to the rule.   Ronald Reagan was a man of bold word and deed, and his story is possibly the best of any political figure I've studied in modern times.  Well written and quite revealing, Reagan's War should be required reading for all American high-schoolers, for they will never glimpse even half the man Reagan was if the only exposure they get is from boring textbook snippets.

Recommendation:  Read it, and be amazed to find out just how much you didn't know about Ronald Reagan.
~Moira

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