A Pope and a President

John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century

Author: Paul Kengor

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1504046919

Category: History

Page: 550

View: 2458

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 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.

A Pope and a President

John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century

Author: Paul Kengor

Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute

ISBN: 9781610171526

Category: History

Page: 656

View: 9375

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. Based on Kengor's tireless archival digging and his unique access to Reagan insiders, A Pope and a President is full of revelations. It takes you inside private meetings between Reagan and John Paul II and into the Oval Office, the Vatican, the CIA, the Kremlin, and many points beyond. 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

A Pope and a President

John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century

Author: Paul Kengor

Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute

ISBN: 9781610171434

Category: History

Page: 624

View: 6338

In this fascinating new book, acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Paul Kengor tells the untold story of the partnership between Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan and how together they changed the course of world history. Kengor shows that the bonds between the pope and the president ran deeper than anyone has suspected, and that these bonds drove the two men to confront what they knew to be the great evil of the twentieth century: Soviet communism. Reagan and John Paul almost didn't have the opportunity to forge this relationship: just six weeks apart in the spring of 1981, these world leaders took bullets from would-be assassins. Kengor's unique access to Reagan insiders and his tireless archival research allows him to reveal previously unknown details, including: The inside story on the 1982 meeting where the president and pope confided their conviction that God had spared their lives a year earlier for the purpose of defeating the communist empire Captivating new information on the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, including a heretofore-unreported secret investigation Reagan authorized-was Moscow behind the plot? The many similarities and the spiritual bond between the pope and the president-and how Reagan and a close adviser privately spoke of the "DP": the Divine Plan to take down communism New details about how the Protestant Reagan became fascinated by the "secrets of Fatima," dating to the reported apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, starting on May 13, 1917--sixty-four years to the day before the attempt on John Paul's life An extraordinary insider account of how the Soviet Union may have been preparing to send troops into the pope's native Poland and impose martial law in March 1981 only to pull back when news broke that Reagan had been shot Shortly after leaving the White House, Reagan told three men from the Polish Solidarity movement that John Paul II was his "best friend." That may seem overstated, but it is a telling indicator of the kinship and supreme objective that united these two towering figures."

The President, the Pope, And the Prime Minister

Three Who Changed the World

Author: John O'Sullivan

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1596980346

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 7585

The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister is a sweeping, dramatic account of how three great figures changed the course of history. All of them led with courage — but also with great optimism. The pope helped ordinary Poles and East Europeans banish their fear of Soviet Communism, convincing them that liberation was possible. The prime minister restored her country's failing economy by reviving the "vigorous virtues" of the British people. The president rebuilt America's military power, its national morale, and its pre – eminence as leader of the free world. Together, they brought down an evil empire and changed the world for the better. No one can tell their intertwined story better than John O'Sullivan, former editor of National Review and the Times of London, who knew all three and conducted exclusive interviews that shed extraordinary new light on these giants of the twentieth century.

God and Ronald Reagan

A Spiritual Life

Author: Paul Kengor

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780061744310

Category: Political Science

Page: 432

View: 4175

Ronald Reagan is hailed today for a presidency that restored optimism to America, engendered years of economic prosperity, and helped bring about the fall of the Soviet Union. Yet until now little attention has been paid to the role Reagan's personal spirituality played in his political career, shaping his ideas, bolstering his resolve, and ultimately compelling him to confront the brutal -- and, not coincidentally, atheistic -- Soviet empire. In this groundbreaking book, political historian Paul Kengor draws upon Reagan's legacy of speeches and correspondence, and the memories of those who knew him well, to reveal a man whose Christian faith remained deep and consistent throughout his more than six decades in public life. Raised in the Disciples of Christ Church by a devout mother with a passionate missionary streak, Reagan embraced the church after reading a Christian novel at the age of eleven. A devoted Sunday-school teacher, he absorbed the church's model of "practical Christianity" and strived to achieve it in every stage of his life. But it was in his lifelong battle against communism -- first in Hollywood, then on the political stage -- that Reagan's Christian beliefs had their most profound effect. Appalled by the religious repression and state-mandated atheism of Bolshevik Marxism, Reagan felt called by a sense of personal mission to confront the USSR. Inspired by influences as diverse as C.S. Lewis, Whittaker Chambers, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, he waged an openly spiritual campaign against communism, insisting that religious freedom was the bedrock of personal liberty. "The source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual," he said in his Evil Empire address. "And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man." From a church classroom in 1920s Dixon, Illinois, to his triumphant mission to Moscow in 1988, Ronald Reagan was both political leader and spiritual crusader. God and Ronald Reagan deepens immeasurably our understanding of how these twin missions shaped his presidency -- and changed the world.

Rawhide Down

The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan

Author: Del Quentin Wilber

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 9781429919319

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 3379

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011 A Richmond Times Dispatch Top Book for 2011 A minute-by-minute account of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was just seventy days into his first term of office when John Hinckley Jr. opened fire outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, wounding the president, press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent, and a D.C. police officer. For years, few people knew the truth about how close the president came to dying, and no one has ever written a detailed narrative of that harrowing day. Now, drawing on exclusive new interviews and never-before-seen documents, photos, and videos, Del Quentin Wilber tells the electrifying story of a moment when the nation faced a terrifying crisis that it had experienced less than twenty years before, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. With cinematic clarity, we see Secret Service agent Jerry Parr, whose fast reflexes saved the president's life; the brilliant surgeons who operated on Reagan as he was losing half his blood; and the small group of White House officials frantically trying to determine whether the country was under attack. Most especially, we encounter the man code-named "Rawhide," a leader of uncommon grace who inspired affection and awe in everyone who worked with him. Ronald Reagan was the only serving U.S. president to survive being shot in an assassination attempt.* Rawhide Down is the first true record of the day and events that literally shaped Reagan's presidency and sealed his image in the modern American political firmament. *There have been many assassination attempts on U.S. presidents, four of which were successful: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy. President Theodore Roosevelt was injured in an assassination attempt after leaving office.

Witness to Hope

The Biography of Pope John Paul II

Author: George Weigel

Publisher: Zondervan

ISBN: 0061758647

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 1056

View: 7323

The Definitive Biography of Pope John Paul II Witness to Hope is the authoritative biography of one of the singular figures -- some might argue the singular figure -- of our time. With unprecedented cooperation from John Paul II and the people who knew and worked with him throughout his life, George Weigel offers a groundbreaking portrait of the Pope as a man, a thinker, and a leader whose religious convictions defined a new approach to world politics -- and changed the course of history. As even his critics concede, John Paul II occupied a unique place on the world stage and put down intellectual markers that no one could ignore or avoid as humanity entered a new millennium fraught with possibility and danger. The Pope was a man of prodigious energy who played a crucial yet insufficiently explored role in some of the most momentous events of our time, including the collapse of European communism, the quest for peace in the Middle East, and the democratic transformation of Latin America. This updated edition of Witness to Hope explains how this "man from a far country" did all of that, and much more -- and what both his accomplishments and the unfinished business of his pontificate mean for the future of the Church and the world.

The Pope and the CEO

John Paul II's Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard

Author: Andreas Widmer

Publisher: Emmaus Road Publishing

ISBN: 9781931018760

Category: Business ethics

Page: 155

View: 840

Former-Swiss Guard, CEO and business leader, Andreas Widmer gives a behind-the-scenes look into Pope John Paul ll, "the most authentically human person I've ever met," and reveals how those memories shaped and forged his success as a corporate executive.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism

Author: Paul Kengor

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1621576159

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 1831

A brand-new installment of the beloved Politically Incorrect Guide series! The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism is a fearless critique of freedom's greatest ideological adversary, past and present.

The Communist

Author: Paul Kengor

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451698151

Category: Political Science

Page: 400

View: 5075

“I admire Russia for wiping out an economic system which permitted a handful of rich to exploit and beat gold from the millions of plain people… As one who believes in freedom and democracy for all, I honor the Red nation.” —FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS, 1947 In his memoir, Barack Obama omits the full name of his mentor, simply calling him “Frank.” Now, the truth is out: Never has a figure as deeply troubling and controversial as Frank Marshall Davis had such an impact on the development of an American president. Although other radical influences on Obama, from Jeremiah Wright to Bill Ayers, have been scrutinized, the public knows little about Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA, cited by the Associated Press as an “important influence” on Obama, one whom he “looked to” not merely for “advice on living” but as a “father” figure. Aided by access to explosive declassified FBI files, Soviet archives, and Davis’s original newspaper columns, Paul Kengor explores how Obama sought out Davis and how Davis found in Obama an impressionable young man, one susceptible to Davis’s worldview that opposed American policy and traditional values while praising communist regimes. Kengor sees remnants of this worldview in Obama’s early life and even, ultimately, his presidency. Is Obama working to fulfill the dreams of Frank Marshall Davis? That question has been impossible to answer, since Davis’s writings and relationship with Obama have either been deliberately obscured or dismissed as irrelevant. With Paul Kengor’s The Communist, Americans can finally weigh the evidence and decide for themselves.

Dupes

How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century

Author: Paul Kengor

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497620856

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 8546

“Nothing short of horrifying . . . In terms of putting the last 100 years in perspective, Dupes may be one of the most significant literary offerings of our time.” —Washington Times In this startling, intensively researched book, bestselling historian Paul Kengor shines light on a deeply troubling aspect of American history: the prominent role of the “dupe.” From the Bolshevik Revolution through the Cold War and right up to the present, many progressives have unwittingly aided some of America’s most dangerous opponents. Based on never-before-published FBI files, Soviet archives, and other primary sources, Dupes reveals: •Shocking reports on how Senator Ted Kennedy secretly approached the Soviet leadership to undermine not one but two American presidents •Stunning new evidence that Frank Marshall Davis—mentor to a young Barack Obama—had extensive Communist ties and demonized Democrats •Jimmy Carter’s woeful record dealing with America’s two chief foes of the past century, Communism and Islamism •Today’s dupes, including the congressmen whose overseas anti-American propaganda trip was allegedly financed by foreign intelligence •How Franklin Roosevelt was duped by “Uncle Joe” Stalin—and by a top adviser who may have been a Soviet agent—despite clear warnings from fellow Democrats •How John Kerry’s accusations that American soldiers committed war crimes in Vietnam may have been the product of Soviet disinformation •The many Hollywood stars who were duped, including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Gene Kelly—and even Ronald Reagan

In God's Hands

The Spiritual Diaries of Pope John Paul II

Author: Pope Saint John Paul II

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062396242

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 512

View: 4354

Available for the first time in English, the private reflections of the modern pope recently elevated to sainthood—deeply personal writings that reveal a spiritual leader who agonized over his service to God, continually questioning whether he was doing enough. As the head of the Roman Catholic Church for twenty-five years, from the final decades of the twentieth century to the first years of the new millennium, Pope John Paul II significantly impacted our world. As famous as a rock star, this powerful leader who conferred with numerous heads of state was the ultimate model of wisdom and religious commitment for numerous Catholics around the globe. Throughout much of his adult life, from 1962 until two years before his death in 2003, John Paul II kept a series of private diaries in which he disclosed his innermost thoughts, impressions, and concerns. Written in his native Polish and never before available in English until now, these journals provide intimate and deeply moving insight into a man, a priest, and a saint’s spirituality and a life devoted completely to God. In God’s Hands lays bare the soul of this powerful, influential statesman, revealing a devout man untouched by his celebrity status; a selfless servant of God who spent decades questioning whether he was worthy of the role he was called to carry out. Over forty years, from his bishopric in Krakow to his election to the papacy to his final years, one question guided him: "Am I serving God?" Entrusted to his personal secretary—who defied John Paul II’s instructions to burn them after his death—these notebooks provide us with a privileged glimpse into the life of a humble man who never took for granted his mission or his exalted role in the church and in the world.

The End and the Beginning

Pope John Paul II--The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy

Author: George Weigel

Publisher: Image

ISBN: 0385524803

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 590

View: 2587

Weigel tells the dramatic story of Pope John Paul II's battle with communism, creating a landmark portrait of a man who left an indelible mark on the Catholic Church and changed the course of world history.

Reagan's Secret War

The Untold Story of His Fight to Save the World from Nuclear Disaster

Author: Martin Anderson,Annelise Anderson

Publisher: Crown Archetype

ISBN: 0307459772

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 464

View: 5744

On February 6, 1981, at his first National Security Council meeting, Ronald Reagan told his advisers: “I will make the decisions.” As Reagan’s Secret War reveals, these words provide the touchstone for understanding the extraordinary accomplishments of the Reagan administration, including the decisive events that led to the end of the Cold War. In penning this book, New York Times bestselling authors Martin Anderson and Annelise Anderson drew upon their unprecedented access to more than eight million highly classified documents housed within the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California—unseen by the public until now. Using his top secret clearances, Martin Anderson was able to access Ronald Reagan’s most privileged exchanges with subordinates and world leaders as well as the tactical record of how Reagan fought to win the Cold War and control nuclear weapons. The most revelatory of these documents are the minutes of Reagan-chaired National Security Council meetings, the dozens of secret letters sent by Reagan to world leaders, and the eyewitness notes from Reagan-Gorbachev summits. Along with these findings, the authors use Reagan’s speeches, radio addresses, personal diaries, and other correspondence to develop a striking picture of a man whose incisive intelligence, uncanny instincts, and quiet self-confidence changed the course of history. What emerges from this treasure trove of material is irrefutable evidence that Reagan intended from his first days in office to bring down the Soviet Union, that he considered eliminating nuclear weapons his paramount objective, and that he—not his subordinates—was the principal architect of the policies that ultimately brought the Soviets to the nuclear-arms negotiating table. The authors also affirm that many of Reagan’s ideas, including his controversial “Star Wars” missile-defense initiative, proved essential in dissolving the Soviet Union and keeping America safe. Riveting and eye-opening, Reagan’s Secret War provides a front-row seat to history, a journey into the political mind of a remarkable leader, and proof that one man can, through the force of his deep convictions, bring about sweeping global change. From the Hardcover edition.

Lessons in Hope

My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II

Author: George Weigel

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465094309

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 7994

A preeminent authority on the Catholic Church and papal biographer describes what he learned from chronicling the life of Pope John Paul II In Lessons in Hope, George Weigel tells the story of his unique friendship with St. John Paul II. As Weigel learns the pope "from inside," he also offers a firsthand account of the tumult of post-Vatican II Catholicism and the Cold War's endgame, introducing readers to the heroes who brought down European communism. Later, he shows us the aging pope grappling with the post-9/11 world order and teaching new lessons in dignity through his own suffering. A deeply humane portrait of an eminent scholar learning a saint, Lessons in Hope is essential reading for anyone seeking a fuller understanding of a world-changing pope.

The President Will See You Now

My Stories and Lessons from Ronald Reagan's Final Years

Author: Peggy Grande

Publisher: Hachette Books

ISBN: 031639646X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 9045

"Peggy Grande's memoir is the book to read on Ronald Reagan's post-presidential years.... Among the most unique and touching [books] ever done on the man... Wonderful."--The American Spectator In The President Will See You Now, devoted Reagan insider Peggy Grande shares behind-the-scenes stories, intimate moments, and insights into one of America's most beloved presidents. Grande, who started in the Office of Ronald Reagan as a college student and earned her way into a coveted role as the president's Executive Assistant, offers an unparalleled perspective on the post-presidency of a political icon. Grande's stories and never-before-seen photos show a unique, private side to a public figure and leader who reshaped conservatism, ushered in an era of prosperity, and helped spur the end of the Cold War. Grande reveals what day-to-day life was like in Reagan's California office, including the former president's relationship with the First Lady and his interactions with friends, world leaders, and everyday Americans. Grande recalls how Reagan kept a vigorous schedule for years after he left the White House, his robust engagement with others, and ongoing political advocacy. Despite his eventual Alzheimer's diagnosis, Grande shows how Ronald Reagan remained true to core beliefs, his gentlemanly kindness, and his undying hope for his country. Today the Reagan legacy looms over American politics more than ever. Grande reminds readers why: When Ronald Reagan was president, we not only loved ourselves but also loved America, and the American values he represented: faith, optimism, and patriotism.

The Secret Life of John Paul II

Author: Lino Zani,Marilù Simoneschi

Publisher: TAN Books

ISBN: 1618908049

Category: Religion

Page: 200

View: 7014

Outdoorsman, thinker, skier, hiker, believer Pope. Blessed Pope John Paull II was known and loved in his public life for his adherence to the True Faith, his accessibility and his deep connection with the peoples of this world. He was also an avid sportsman and a skilled skier and hiker who found refuge, solace and spirituality in the mountain peaks and great outdoors. Now, translated for the first time into English, this first-hand account by Lino Zani, John Paul II s ski instructor and mountain guide, offers an intimate portrait of the Pope. Away from the demands and intrigues of the Vatican. A place of quiet respite for the Pope, it was on one of these secluded Alpine trips where he experienced a profound mystical vision of himself as the Fatima Pope.

The Working Class Republican

Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism

Author: Henry Olsen

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062475282

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 1440

Preface by Jon Meacham In this sure to be controversial book in the vein of The Forgotten Man, a political analyst argues that conservative icon Ronald Reagan was not an enemy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal, but his true heir and the popular program’s ultimate savior. Conventional political wisdom views the two most consequential presidents of the twentieth-century—FDR and Ronald Reagan—as ideological opposites. FDR is hailed as the champion of big-government progressivism manifested in the New Deal. Reagan is seen as the crusader for conservatism dedicated to small government and free markets. But Henry Olsen argues that this assumption is wrong. In Ronald Reagan: New Deal Republican, Olsen contends that the historical record clearly shows that Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal itself were more conservative than either Democrats or Republicans believe, and that Ronald Reagan was more progressive than most contemporary Republicans understand. Olsen cuts through political mythology to set the record straight, revealing how Reagan—a longtime Democrat until FDR’s successors lost his vision in the 1960s—saw himself as FDR’s natural heir, carrying forward the basic promises of the New Deal: that every American deserves comfort, dignity, and respect provided they work to the best of their ability. Olsen corrects faulty assumptions driving today’s politics. Conservative Republican political victories over the last thirty years have not been a rejection of the New Deal’s promises, he demonstrates, but rather a representation of the electorate’s desire for their success—which Americans see as fulfilling the vision of the nation’s founding. For the good of all citizens and the GOP, he implores Republicans to once again become a party of "FDR Conservatives"—to rediscover and support the basic elements of FDR (and Reagan’s) vision.

The Crusader

Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism

Author: Paul Kengor

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061740993

Category: Political Science

Page: 432

View: 3664

Based on extraordinary research: a major reassessment of Ronald Reagan's lifelong crusade to dismantle the Soviet Empire–including shocking revelations about the liberal American politician who tried to collude with USSR to counter Reagan's efforts Paul Kengor's God and Ronald Reagan made presidential historian Paul Kengor's name as one of the premier chroniclers of the life and career of the 40th president. Now, with The Crusader, Kengor returns with the one book about Reagan that has not been written: The story of his lifelong crusade against communism, and of his dogged–and ultimately triumphant–effort to overthrow the Soviet Union. Drawing upon reams of newly declassified presidential papers, as well as untapped Soviet media archives and new interviews with key players, Kengor traces Reagan's efforts to target the Soviet Union from his days as governor of California to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of what he famously dubbed the "Evil Empire." The result is a major revision and enhancement of what historians are only beginning to realize: That Reagan not only wished for the collapse of communism, but had a deep and specific understanding of what it would take––and effected dozens of policy shifts that brought the USSR to its heels within a decade of his presidency. The Crusader makes use of key sources from behind the Iron Curtain, including one key memo that implicates a major American liberal politician–still in office today–in a scheme to enlist Soviet premier Yuri Andropov to help defeat Reagan's 1984 reelection bid. Such new finds make The Crusader not just a work of extraordinary history, but a work of explosive revelation that will be debated as hotly in 2006 as Reagan's policies were in the 1980s.

A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland

Author: Seth G. Jones

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393247015

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 7047

The dramatic, untold story of one of the CIA’s most successful Cold War intelligence operations. December, 1981—the CIA receives word that the Polish government has cut telephone communications with the West and closed the Polish border. The agency’s leaders quickly inform President Ronald Reagan, who is enjoying a serene weekend at Camp David. Within hours, Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski has appeared on Polish national television to announce the establishment of martial law. A new era in Cold War politics has begun: Washington and Moscow are on a collision course. In this gripping narrative history, Seth G. Jones reveals the little-known story of the CIA’s subsequent operations in Poland, which produced a landmark victory for democracy during the Cold War. While the Soviet-backed Polish government worked to crush a budding liberal opposition movement, the CIA began a sophisticated intelligence campaign, code-named QRHELPFUL, that supported dissident groups. The most powerful of these groups was Solidarity, a trade union that swelled to a membership of ten million and became one of the first legitimate anti-Communist opposition movements in Eastern Europe. With President Reagan’s support, the CIA provided money that helped Solidarity print newspapers, broadcast radio programs, and conduct a wide-ranging information warfare campaign against the Soviet-backed government. QRHELPFUL proved vital in establishing a free and democratic Poland. Long overlooked by CIA historians and Reagan biographers, the story of QRHELPFUL features an extraordinary cast of characters—including spymaster Bill Casey, CIA officer Richard Malzahn, Polish-speaking CIA case officer Celia Larkin, Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, and Pope John Paul II. Based on in-depth interviews and recently declassified evidence, A Covert Action celebrates a decisive victory over tyranny for U.S. intelligence behind the Iron Curtain, one that prefigured the Soviet collapse.