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

by Paul Kengor, 648 Pages
Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, May 1, 2017
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A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century

by Paul Kengor, 648 Pages
Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, May 1, 2017

Even as historians credit ­Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II with hastening the end of the Cold War, they have failed to recognize the depth or significance of the bond that developed between the two leaders.

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.

Reagan and John Paul II almost didn’t have the opportunity to forge this relationship: just six weeks apart in the spring of 1981, they took bullets from would-be assassins. But their strikingly similar near-death experiences brought them close together—to Moscow’s dismay.

A Pope and a President is the product of years of research. Based on Kengor’s tireless archival digging and his unique access to Reagan insiders, the book reveals:

  • The inside story on the 1982 meeting where the president and the pope confided their conviction that God had spared their lives for the purpose of defeating communism
  • Captivating new information on the attempt on John Paul II’s life, including a ­previously unreported secret CIA investigation—was Moscow behind the plot?
  • The many similarities and the spiritual bond between the pope and the president—and how Reagan privately spoke of the “DP”: the Divine Plan to take down communism
  • New details about how the Protestant Reagan became intensely interested in the “secrets of Fátima,” which date to the reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fátima, Portugal, starting on May 13, 1917—­sixty-four years to the day before John Paul II was shot
  • A startling insider account of how the USSR may have been set to invade the pope’s native Poland in March 1981—only to pull back when news broke that Reagan had been shot

Nancy Reagan called John Paul II her husband’s “closest friend”; Reagan himself told Polish visitors that the pope was his “best friend.” When you read this book, you will understand why. As kindred spirits, Ronald Reagan and John Paul II united in pursuit of a supreme objective—and in doing so they changed history.

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About Paul Kengor

** Exclusive CBC Author Interview with Paul Kengor ** 

CBC Endorsement from Paul Kengor!

​Dr. Paul Kengor is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of political science at Grove City College. He is also executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College and a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.

As a presidential historian known for his scholarship on the Cold War, Communism, and Ronald Reagan, Dr. Kengor’s opinion editorials have appeared in the nation’s leading print and online publications, and he is a frequent commentator on top-rated radio and television news programs.

Kengor received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, his master’s degree from American University’s School of International Service, and he holds an honorary doctorate from Franciscan University.

A native of Western Pennsylvania, he lives with his wife and seven children in in Grove City.

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