|Here at last is a full account of the great victory of an American hero: Ronald Reagan’s lifelong battle against Communism, culminating in the downfall of the Soviet Union – a downfall that he engineered. In The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, leading Reagan authority Paul Kengor (author of the acclaimed God and Ronald Reagan) draws upon newly declassified presidential papers, as well as hitherto untapped Soviet media archives and new interviews with key players, to tell the whole gripping story.
With a historian’s mastery of his subject and a novelist’s gift for telling his story, Kengor traces Reagan’s efforts to bring about the downfall of communism from his Hollywood days to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. He explains the genesis of Reagan’s anti-communism in the 1940s and 1950s and details how it developed during his eight years as a Cold War Governor in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Kengor then dives into Reagan’s presidency in detail, from the explosion of freedom in Poland in December 1981 and the beginning of Reagan’s anti-communist crusade in earnest to the advent of Gorbachev, the escalation of the arms race, and the subsequent collapse of what Reagan famously dubbed “the Evil Empire.” In the process, Kengor demonstrates that Reagan, contrary to the myths still spread by Leftist historians, had a deep and specific understanding of what it would take to destroy the Soviet Union – an understanding that few, if any, of the “expert” analysts of the time had.