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Reagan's War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism Hardcover – 1 Oct 2002

3.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books; 1 edition (Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385504713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385504713
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.9 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,834,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A rousing and compelling case that Reagan's personal and political odyssey...was central to bringing down the 'evil empire.'" " Los Angeles Times Book Review
""On the big picture, Schweizer is correct: Reagan had it right." "Newsweek"
"Masterful. . . . After Schweizer, even inveterate Reagan-haters will have to abandon the picture of an amiable dunce drifting passively while a handful of advisers set the agenda." "Foreign Affairs
" A fascinating, well-written, useful and important look at one of the three or four most important American political leaders of the 20th century. No serious assessment of the 40th president of the United States can ignore the central importance of anti-communism in his career; after Schweizer, none will. "The Washington Post Book World
"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Reagan's War is the story of Ronald Reagan's personal and political journey as an anti-communist, from his early days as an actor to his years in the White House. Challenging popular misconceptions of Reagan as an empty suit who played only a passive role in the demise of the Soviet Union, Peter Schweizer details Reagan's decades-long battle against communism.
Bringing to light previously secret information obtained from archives in the United States, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Russia--including Reagan's KGB file--Schweizer offers a compelling case that Reagan personally mapped out and directed his war against communism, often disagreeing with experts and advisers. An essential book for understanding the Cold War, Reagan's War should be read by open-minded readers across the political spectrum. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Format: Hardcover
This exciting book tells the story of Ronald Reagan's lifelong war against communism. Skipping unnecessary background history, the book immediately launches into the exhilarating story of Reagan's defiance of communism in Hollywood, and his presidency of the Screen Actors Guild. Following that, the book follows the history of American-Soviet relations under the various American presidents. And then, in exquisite detail, the author follows the actions of President Reagan, as he wrestled the Soviet system into discredit and bankruptcy.
Let me start out by saying that if you want a balanced look at President Reagan's strengths and weaknesses in dealing with the Soviet Union, then you will be *terribly* disappointed by this book. This book is a shout of "Halleluiah!", a celebration of Reagan's courage and farsightedness. Using newly opened Soviet sources, the author looks at what the Americans did throughout the era, and what the Soviets thought and did.
I must say that I enjoyed this book immensely. Coming of age at the beginning of the Reagan Revolution, I remember a good deal of what this book covers, but this book does an excellent job of filling in the details that were unavailable at the time (secret meetings between Americans and Soviets, Politburo discussions, personal opinions from both sides of the wall). Therefore, if you want an exciting, fact filled look at Ronald Reagan's triumph over communism, then I highly recommend that you get this book!
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Format: Hardcover
Got friends in the US who don't live too far from DC, so government is a big thing for them. They all lived through the 80's and 90's presidents, and there's a real mix of opinions about all the presidents between the 3 of them. Reagan is probably the one that they disagree about most. Mike (Cheers buddy!) gave me a copy of this (he thinks Reagan was a pretty good guy, the other two don't) with the words "It's probably not the best book to read about Reagan, but give it a go and you might understand him more."
I did give it a go, and have now finished it. I'm in two minds as to whether it's a great book or a really bad one. Insofar as the writing is concerned, I have no problem with it - it is very well written insofar as the style is very easy to read. What I have a problem with is whether or not the 'facts' are reliable, and if this is actually a good historical account of Reagan's 'struggle'. The main source of information about how great Reagan is comes from...wait for it...Reagan's personal diaries!! Hardly a great source for an unbiased account...
...which brings me to what is actually written. I think the writer goes far too over the top with his adoration of Reagan. It seems like almost everything that Reagan ever did was considered as a benevolent and brilliant piece of politics to Mr Schweizer. I found this particularly sickening when I read of Reagan's plan to attempt to bankrupt the Soviet Union as a way of bringing Communism to it's knees, with full knowledge of how close to starving some of the population already were. Very hypocritical in the face of his criticism of Stalin's regime.
There is example after example of Reagan's obsession with Communism meaning that he put the 'struggle' before anything else.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this hoping to get an insight into what drove this actor turned president. He was president for my late teens and early 20's, and what I remember most of all was his portrayal as a complete idiot on the TV series 'Spitting Image', and his constant stream of gaffes that were reported on the news. I had a vague knowledge of his anti-communist stance during the McCarthyist 50's, and knew of his Central American crusades, so I wanted to know more.
I had hoped that I would be reading a history book, but I wouldn't be surprised if this had been written by Reagan's best friend in an attempt to portray him in the best possible light over everything that he has ever done.
I'm not so sure how reliable the 'facts' of the book are either - Schweizer claims to have access to secret Soviet documents that 'prove' all kinds of things, such as numerous Soviet backed attempts to assassinate Reagan. Apparently the main source of information was Reagan's private diaries. If Reagan really believed all that he wrote in these diaries, then it's amazing that he was allowed to become President!!!
The book is incredibly biased towards Reagan as some sort of messianic saviour of the world, and there is virtually criticism of any aspect of his life. This book is nothing more than 100% backing of a chronological list of events of Reagan's life!
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