Paul Kengor is associate professor of political science at Grove City College, where he specializes in the presidency and foreign policy. He has written for USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and National Review. His book God and Ronald Reagan made the The New York Times bestseller list. His next book focuses on the faith of George W. Bush, and he is currently working on a book about Ronald Reagan's efforts to undermine the Soviet empire.
Reagan's mother had a profound affect on him when as a boy the family moved constantly. She also brought him to faith.
His mother, Nelle Reagan, was a wonderful, devoutly Christian woman. I'm convinced that she made a president. She's a mom who made a president because, so much of what Reagan did that was critical to his success came from that faith that he got from his mom. That optimism Reagan needed to do what he did, came from his faith.
Reagan's communication skillshe was the Great CommunicatorReagan first learned to speak in a church. It began there. His views on communism as well: that it was the atheism, the godlessness, of Soviet Communism that really made him angry, that made him hate the Soviet system. It wasn't just that it was an expansionary system that robbed people of basic freedom, but that it was an atheistic system.
Reagan's favorite book as a child had a profound affect on him. What was it, and how was it instrumental both in his faith and career?
You've got this little boy named Dick, and in the book's opening scene, the first words are, "Oh, God, please take care of old Dick." This is his mother's final words on her deathbed. Little Dick is sitting next to his mom as she dies. Dick's dad meanwhile is lying on the floor passed out drunk from ...1
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