A Pope and a President

A Pope and a President : John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century

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In this fascinating new book, acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Paul Kengor tells the untold story of the partnership between Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan and how together they changed the course of world history. Kengor shows that the bonds between the pope and the president ran deeper than anyone has suspected, and that these bonds drove the two men to confront what they knew to be the great evil of the twentieth century: Soviet communism.

Reagan and John Paul almost didn't have the opportunity to forge this relationship: just six weeks apart in the spring of 1981, these world leaders took bullets from would-be assassins.Kengor's unique access to Reagan insiders and his tireless archival research allows him to reveal previously unknown details, including:

The inside story on the 1982 meeting where the president and pope confided their conviction that God had spared their lives a year earlier for the purpose of defeating the communist empire
Captivating new information on the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, including a heretofore-unreported secret investigation Reagan authorized-was Moscow behind the plot?
The many similarities and the spiritual bond between the pope and the president-and how Reagan and a close adviser privately spoke of the "DP": the Divine Plan to take down communism
New details about how the Protestant Reagan became fascinated by the "secrets of Fatima," dating to the reported apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, starting on May 13, 1917-sixty-four years to the day before the attempt on John Paul's life
An extraordinary insider account of how the Soviet Union may have been preparing to send troops into the pope's native Poland and impose martial law in March 1981-only to pull back when news broke that Reagan had been shot

Shortly after leaving the White House, Reagan told three men from the Polish Solidarity movement that John Paul II was his "best friend." That may seem overstated, but it is a telling indicator of the kinship and supreme objective that united these two towering figures.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 624 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 43.18mm | 997.9g
  • Wilmington, United States
  • English
  • 1610171438
  • 9781610171434
  • 206,517

Review quote

Praise for Paul Kengor"No Reagan biographer or scholar knows Ronald Reagan and conservatism like Paul Kengor." --Michael Reagan

"[Kengor] has written the most exhaustive and definitive account of Communism's twentieth-century assault on America to date." --Townhall

"Mr. Kengor's research is prodigious, his analysis keen and insightful, his writing clear, and his work distinguished. His command of the Reagan legacy is incomparable." --Tony Dolan, chief speechwriter and special assistant to President Reagan

"Kengor makes clear just how central the defeat of the Soviet Union was to Reagan's personal project." --National Review

"Combines great story-telling with his commitment to scholarly detail." --Peter Schweizer, bestselling author of Reagan's War

"[Kengor provides] more fascinating and never-before-reported details about how Ronald Reagan succeeded than any other Cold War historian. . . . Kengor somehow got his hands on more secret documents than the KGB." --American Thinker

"Kengor has unearthed eye-popping new information that left me amazed." --Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard

"Provides authoritative insight into Reagan's campaign to destroy Soviet Communism." --Richard Pipes, professor of history, emeritus, Harvard University

"Kengor assembles a wealth of material." --National Catholic Reporter

"There are few historians who are closer students of the Reagan message, his thoughts, his utterances, and his convictions than Paul Kengor." --William J. Bennett, President Reagan's secretary of education Praise for A Pope and a President"Kengor breaks new ground. He shows the depth of [John Paul II and Reagan's] friendship (including secret letters shuttled to Rome by New Jersey Democrat Peter Rodino) starting only weeks after both men survived assassination attempts." --World magazine

"This book superbly captures and perfectly portrays the profound depth of the bond between John Paul II and Ronald Reagan. This is key. You cannot understand why Soviet communism collapsed unless you have a good grasp of just how extraordinarily deep was the bond that existed between those two great leaders of the 20th century. . . . There is a great deal of important and interesting information packed into this very well researched work. It makes a reader appreciate just how fortunate we were to have this particular pope and this particular president at that point in history." --Washington Times

"Excellent . . . Dr. Kengor's book is extraordinary in that he is brave enough to trace the importance of religious faith in the story of communism's downfall. . . . A historical tome that is not only detailed, informative, and educational, but also inspiring and encouraging." --The Imaginative Conservative
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About Paul Kengor

Paul Kengor, PhD, is the New York Times bestselling author of God and Ronald Reagan, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative, Dupes, The Communist, and other books. A professor of political science and the executive director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College, he writes regularly for publications ranging from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to Political Science Quarterly. Kengor has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, C-SPAN, and many other outlets. He and his family live in Pennsylvania.
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Rating details

379 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
5 58% (220)
4 25% (94)
3 12% (45)
2 3% (11)
1 2% (9)
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