Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Faith of Ronald Reagan by Mary Beth Brown

This book was first published in 2004 under the title Hand of Providence: The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan. With Reagan's 100th birthday coming up this month, this is one of the many books being published to celebrate.

This is not a scholarly Reagan biography. Rather, it is more of a spiritual biography. The author traces Reagan's life from his birth in Illinois through his Hollywood years and his political career. Reagan's faith was strongly influenced by that of his mother, Nelle Reagan. She taught him that God had a purpose for his life, and her son learned the lesson well. The insights into how Reagan's faith affected the choices and decisions he made was fascinating.

I lived the Reagan years as an adult. I remember vividly the day John Hinckley shot the president. I knew that Reagan was a Christian because he often spoke of his faith. I did not realize, though, that, due to the assassination attempt, he never attended church as president because he did not want to put others in danger. Other details like this kept me turning the pages. For example, I had previously assumed that his divorce from Jane Wyman was par for the course for Hollywood types. For Reagan, though, it was a personal tragedy. It took him a long time to consider marrying again.

The author's style was a little distracting to me at times. Bible verses were inserted at the oddest points. It is obvious that the writer was a great admirer of her subject, and that's not necessarily bad. It just makes me wonder how objective she was in her research.

I think, if you read one book about Reagan, this should be the one. It covers the facts about his life, and the spiritual component makes it a truly fascinating read.

Buy it on

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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