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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2005
Public opinion polls, Ronald Reagan is the most popular of modern presidents, and yet to most biographers the man is still an enigma. This is because, as Brown explains, few have ever focused on this great man's faith. This book explores the life and personality of Ronald Reagan by focusing on his deep-felt Christian beliefs and showing how faith guided him along his distinguished career and led him to his unprecedented success. With the support of Ronald Reagan's own words and writings and firsthand interviews with Ronald Reagan's family, friends, and co-workers, Brown weaves a magnificent story of Reagan's strong devotion to God that will not only inspire Christians to enter public service and allow their faith to motivate all their actions but also help point others to the Cross of Jesus Christ-a cause that was near and dear to President Reagan's heart.
David GoughAlexandria, VAAge: 55-65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Portrait of a man of conviction and principleMay 9, 2013David GoughAlexandria, VAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3During his two terms as President, Ronald Reagan was frequently vilified and lampooned by the mainstream media. By others, he was looked upon as the man responsible for restoring respect to the oval office at a restless period of our nation's history. Mary Beth Brown's book, "The Hand of Providence," suggests that the bedrock of Reagan's political philosophy was his "strong a quiet faith." In this brief biography, the author traces the life of a man who rose from humble beginnings to become a well-known Hollywood actor before his career took a dramatic turn which thrust him into the political arena. Its brevity omits much of what the host of other books have written about his life explore in greater depth. Ms. Brown's intention was not to plow the same ground as those other works, but to present the spiritual side of the man, that side that was often visible while at the same time remaining intensely personal. Unfortunately, in her quest to do so, the writer conveniently omits some of the events of Reagan's life that would have more vividly portrayed his humanity, and thus made the grace of God all the more prominent in his life. She tends to apply Scripture passages out of context and attribute every shift in Reagan's life to...well, the "hand of providence." While I am a strong believer in the absolute sovereignty of God, her approach to chronicling these events makes our nation's 40th President come off looking "super-spiritual" at best and "super-human" at worst. As one who greatly admired Reagan, I would have preferred a far more candid portrait of the man. Perhaps we should forgive Ms. Brown, given her friendship and association with her subject as well as her desire to present him in the best possible light. Despite that intention, I am not sure she has done that. For example, although she repeatedly speaks of Reagan's desire to follow Christ and the importance the Lord played in every part of his life, she gives very few details about his conversion and subsequent spiritual growth. I had hoped for a better description than the one we find on page 34, which says, at age 11 "He subsequently made his decision to commit his life to Christ, to be baptized, and to officially join his mother's church, the Disciples of Christ." I trust that Mr. Reagan was a genuine follower of the Savior, but the glossing over of that important detail is regrettable. Despite its flaws, this is an uplifting book that deserves to be read by those who held the former President in high regard, as well as by those who may have allowed a biased media to shape their opinions of him. One of the more significant sections of the book is the account of the assassination attempt on his life in 1981 and his subsequent recovery. It was also nostalgic to read again his famous line from his Berlin wall speech: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" and to learn that he was not the one to have coined that statement. Mr. Reagan withdrew from public life in 1994 due to his struggle with Alzheimer's. Ms. Brown began her research for this book near that time, and released it the year of his death in 2004. In 2011, the centennial of Ronald Reagan's birth, it was re-released.