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+ #2: A Pope and a President: The Untold Friendship of JPII and Ronald Reagan
- Description: Historians rightfully credit Saint John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan with hastening the end of the Cold War, but until now have failed to recognize the depth of the bond between the two men. They were shot by would-be assassins just six weeks apart and their strikingly similar experiences brought them close together – much to Moscow’s dismay. Paul Kengor joins us with a look at how they changed history and why Nancy Reagan called JPII her husband’s “closest friend.”
- Segment Guests:
Paul Kengor is the Executive Director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College and a Visiting Fellow at Hoover Institute on War, Revolution and Peace. He's the author of many books and a frequent public speaker and contributor to TV and radio news. Visit visionaandvalues.org
- Paul Kengor
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A Singular Bond That Changed History 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
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