Ronald Reagan, "The Great Communicator," knew the power of words. His voice confronted America's foes, comforted the nation, and hastened the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan's America presents the history of the Reagan years told through his memorable speeches during the defining events of the era.
Reagan's unshakable belief in the power of democracy against totalitarianism and of freedom against oppression shaped our world today. His ideas set the tone for our struggles and victories against the Soviet Union and in the Middle East, and his legacy continues in US policy at home and throughout the world.
In the tradition of Let Every Nation Know, historian Terry Golway presents the defining moments of the Reagan years, with Ronald Reagan at their center. Woven throughout the book are carefully chosen excerpts of the speeches Reagan gave at 30 notable events throughout his political career included on one audio CD.
Praise for Ronald Reagan's America
"Nothing short of terrific...The insightful commentary adds a powerful complement." -Booklist
"Illuminates the importance of public address to the success and reputation of presidents." -Library Journal
"Riveting tour de force." -Publishers Weekly
"A masterful job." -Bob Schieffer, CBS News
"Marvelous work." -Joe Conason, journalist and author of The Hunting of the President and Big Lies
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Terry Golway (New Jersey) is also (with Robert Dallek) the co-author of Let Every Nation Know and the author of Washington's General. He writes for the New York Times, American Heritage, and the New York Observer. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The President arrived in West Berlin on the morning of June 12. He was scheduled to speak outdoors, as Kennedy did, near the Brandenburg Gate, which was on the East Berlin side of the wall. Before his speech, Reagan met with West German officials in a building that towered over the wall, allowing the President a glimpse into the Soviet-controlled portion of the city. Kennedy, too, had caught a glimpse of life on the other side during his visit: he saw women waving to him, and an aide told him that they risked being shot for their gesture of friendship. He was enraged when he mounted a platform to give what became one of his most-famous speeches.
Reagan, in his glimpse of East Berlin, saw police moving citizens away from the wall so that they couldn't hear his speech over loudspeakers. Like Kennedy, he became angry, and brought that anger with him to the podium when it was time to speak.
The crowd ate up Reagan's tribute, his own humor, and even his attempts at German. They were prepared now for the heart of Reagan's speech: His own angry confrontation with the wall and all that it represented.
Reagan's voice was passionate, as Kennedy's was a quarter-century earlier. He remembered the sight of well-armed police ushering East Berliners away from the wall, away from the loudspeakers that would carry his words beyond the city's dividing line. "There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace," Reagan said. "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate!
"Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
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