May 31, 2018, is the thirtieth anniversary of President Reagan’s speech at Moscow State University. On that day, our 40th president stood before a packed house of enthusiastic students who listened to a message of freedom and hope. Lurking behind Reagan was a mural of the Russian revolution and the bust of Vladimir Lenin. When press secretary Marlin Fitzwater was asked about this strange pairing, he replied, “If anybody would ever appreciate Lenin having to spend an hour and a half looking at the backside of Ronald Reagan, it would be the president.”
Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire by Bret Baier celebrates the life and legacy of President Ronald Reagan. Baier provides an inside look at the Reagan administration and the events leading up to his monumental speech at the Moscow State University.
President Reagan inspired hope in each of the participants that day:
Standing here before a mural of your revolution, I want to talk about a very different revolution that is taking place right now, quietly sweeping the globe without bloodshed or conflict. Its effects are peaceful, but they will fundamentally alter our world, shatter old assumptions, and reshape our lives.
We do not know what the conclusion will be of this journey, but we’re hopeful that the promise of reform will be fulfilled. In this Moscow spring, this May 1988, we may be allowed that hope: that freedom, like the fresh green sapling planted over Tolstoy’s grave, will blossom forth at last in the rich fertile soil of your people and culture. We may be allowed to hope that the marvelous sound of a new openness will keep rising through, ringing through, leading to a new world of reconciliation, friendship, and peace.
Baier comments, “He was a messenger of hope, seducing them with their own longings, which he knew they had. How could they resist the poignant cry of their countryman?”
One cannot help but recall that President Barack Obama uttered similar words, namely, to “fundamentally transform America.” But the vision Obama was after had more to do with big government, higher taxes, escalated regulation, and minimized religious freedom. Reagan demanded the opposite and he understood that the Soviet people yearned for this kind of freedom.
At the end of the speech, the audience gave Reagan a standing ovation. Baier reports, “Reagan later quipped that while they were cheering, he’d glanced behind him and seen Lenin weeping.”
Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire is a stirring historical tale of freedom that chronicles the ascent of Ronald Reagan to the highest office in the land. Brett Baier accurately and passionately recounts the details of his presidency and the leadership gifts he shared with the American people and the world.