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Reagan’s Secret War

Publisher: Crown Archetype • 2010 • 464 pages
4.43 out of 5 • View Ratings Details • 7 Ratings

Liberal mythmakers in Hollywood and Washington insist that Ronald Reagan was an amiable dunce, put through paces by shadowy subordinates for whom he served as a kind of mouthpiece, as well as a trigger-happy cowboy who would gladly have nuked Moscow without batting an eye. But top-secret, never-before-revealed documents paint a starkly different picture: in fact, Reagan intended to bring down the Soviet Union from his first days in office, and carefully began laying plans to achieve that goal. At the same time, he considered eliminating nuclear weapons his paramount objective. Above all, it was Reagan himself — not his subordinates — who crafted the policies that ultimately brought the Soviets to the nuclear-arms negotiating table, and ended the scourge of Soviet Communism once and for all.

In “Reagan’s Secret War: The Untold Story of His Fight to Save the World From Nuclear Disaster,” Martin and Annelise Anderson (bestselling authors of “Reagan, In His Own Hand”) give you access to newly declassified top-secret files that prove all that and more. Until the Andersons arrived at the entrance of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, in 2004, the building’s treasure trove of millions of documents — classified as secret or top secret — had been seen by only a few archivists. Many had never been examined at all. Using his top-secret clearances, Martin Anderson was able to access Ronald Reagan’s most privileged exchanges with his staff, as well as with some of the most important world leaders of the 1980s. Anderson also was able to examine the tactical record of how Reagan fought to win the Cold War and control nuclear weapons.

Among the revealing and astonishing documents included here are the minutes of Reagan-chaired National Security Council meetings; the secret letters sent by Reagan to world leaders; and the eyewitness notes from Reagan- Gorbachev summits. The Andersons provided concise and readable explanations of the circumstances of each document, showing how Reagan single-handedly changed the course of American foreign policy — and world history — for all time. Often startling and revelatory, “Reagan’s Secret War” offers remarkable proof that Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest Presidents in American history — and a man to whom the Free World will forever owe an immense debt of gratitude.

Among the surprising revelations of “Reagan’s Secret War”:

  • The vow that Reagan made to himself in 1945 — one of the most grandiose promises of the twentieth century, and one that he actually accomplished to a remarkable degree
  • Reagan’s deceptively simple plan to compel the Soviets to agree to reductions in their nuclear arsenal
  • How Reagan dealt with the possibility that if he moved ahead with his plans, the Soviets might decide to strike America first
  • Soviet strategy at the 1986 Reykjavik summit: why they so readily agreed to destroy 50 percent of their nuclear missiles and take down all the missiles aimed at European countries — and yet refused to budge on their opposition to the Strategic Defense Initiative
  • The secret letters Reagan and Gorbachev exchanged that paved the way for the end to the Cold War
  • Reagan’s incisive analysis of the internal dilemma Mikhail Gorbachev faced as leader of the Soviet Union
  • The potential Achilles’ heel that Reagan perceived as an inherent aspect of any effective defensive system
  • Four key elements Reagan articulated of an effective negotiation
  • The intensity of Reagan’s concern for human rights: why it came as a surprise to many people, especially when he spoke out so forcefully at the Berlin Wall
  • How Reagan achieved the first genuine reduction in an arms race that up to that point had seemed unstoppable and inevitable
  • Why Reagan was so confident that, underneath all his bluster and bravado, Gorbachev would eventually see the wisdom of SDI
  • The spectacularly wrongheaded way the liberal mainstream media of his time reported on Reagan’s revolution in arms control
  • The three levels of Reagan’s arms control policy — and how he made stunning advances in each during his years as President

“Unprecedented access. . .[This book] may change forever the image held by many.” — Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

“The authors have defied assumptions about what Reagan thought and said and conducted painstaking research to get at the truth of what he really planned and executed. All of us who are gripped by the transcendent importance of the nuclear threat will learn from, and be inspired by, this account.” — Former Secretary of State George P. Schultz

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