|Above, President Reagan and Pope John Paul II in the Vatican.|
As I am writing this, I am about 4/5 through the book, A Pope and A President, John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century by Paul Kengor (ISI Books).
Normally, I will finish a book before writing a review of it. In this case, I feel that I have read enough to review it now.
This is one fascinating story on how the collaboration between Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan, two men who had much in common (including assassination attempts of each within weeks of each other in 1981), brought down the Iron Curtain in Europe and, not too long after, in the Soviet Union. All part of the "DP" (Divine Plan).
Upon Pope John Paul II's elevation as the Holy See, Reagan saw that he would have an ally in his efforts to end the Soviet grip on Eastern Europe. The rise of the Solidarity labor union in Poland along with the Polish Pope, told Reagan that Poland was the "key" to ending communism in Eastern Europe.
The books tells of the history of clashes between the Roman Catholic Church and communist rulers from the time of the Bolshevik's rise in Czarist Russia through the Cold War. Coinciding with the rise of communism in Russia, the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima by three children had a big effect on the Pope and the President, especially the three secrets of Fatima. The assassination attempt on the Pope took place on May 13, 1981, an anniversary date of the May 13, 1917 appearance of the Virgin Mary's apparition in Portugal.
The shooting of Pope John Paul II, it is revealed, wasn't just from a lone assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, a professional Turkish assassin. The book makes a strong case that the Bulgarian secret service, under the direction of the Soviet GRU (Soviet military intelligence) and not the Soviet KGB, were behind the assassination attempt on the Pope. The bottom line: The Russians Did It! (This is also the title of Chapter 29.)
Kengor's writing style is very easy to follow as he writes conversationally, as if he is giving a lecture in a classroom setting. This is truly a great read.
This is a fascinating book and I highly recommend it. My only disappointment with the book is that it contains no photographs to also enjoy.
My grade: A+.