A Pope and a PresidentThe sounds of the bullets that pierced the afternoon air of Saint Peter's Square on May 13, , were an echo of a message that began resounding sixty-four years earlier, on May 13, The message was said to have come from Mary, the mother of Christ. Before we go any further, an explanation is in order. This book is a work of historical investigation, not a religious apologetic. Given that, it may seem odd to examine the role of the Virgin Mary in crucial events of the twentieth century. To some readers it will be off- putting. But I ask you to stick with me, even if you do not believe in the supernatural or are a religious person skeptical of Catholic claims of Marian apparitions.
The Dartmouth Review
Acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Paul Kengor changes that. In this fascinating book, he reveals a singular bond—which included a spiritual connection between the Catholic pope and the Protestant president—that drove the two men to confront what they knew to be the great evil of the twentieth century: Soviet communism. But their strikingly similar near-death experiences brought them close together—to Moscow's dismay. Based on Kengor's tireless archival digging and his unique access to Reagan insiders, the book reveals:. The Catholic reader, in particular, will find the heretofore-unknown fascination of Reagan with Fatima to be most captivating — especially in this centennial year of the apparitions.
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According to calendar makers, the twentieth century began on January 1, and ended one hundred years later. But a historical case can be made that it began on June 28, , when Gavrilo Princip murdered Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and ended on December 25, when the hammer and sickle flag of the Soviet Union was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time. Paul Kengor political scientist at Grove City College argues that the extraordinary untold story of the twentieth century was the heroic collaboration between a pope and a president which brought about the death of Soviet communism. The bond between them arose after each was shot in early Reagan even had a code name for it. Inflamed by this shared belief, they worked tirelessly to defeat communism primarily by revealing to the world its utter evil.
The valiance and devotion of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II defined the winning battle against global communism in the latter half of the 20 th century. From page one to page six hundred and forty-eight, Kengor manages to paint an ambitious portrayal of the President and the Pope. Within the first two parts of the book, Kengor details the crimes against humanity against the Polish people by the atheistic communist government. From murder to torture to mass propaganda, the Soviet government wanted to exterminate the faith of Poland much like Nazi Germany wanted to exterminate the Polish people. Both had their fathers die at a young age, suffered many hardships, and both were deep believers in God. Kengor does a fantastic job portraying the parallels between the two men without it becoming melodramatic or kitsch.
It was indeed such an astonishing change that right up until it was happening few would have believed it possible. But untold? There have been plenty of other books, articles and videos about the collapse of the Soviet communist empire, including works that, as this one does, appropriately credit Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan for its demise. 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.