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Late that year, the two leaders signed the first nuclear-arms-reduction treaty. The Cold War was drawing to and end.

Mr. Mann gives us a lively book. What he misses is Mr. Reagan’s early, unflagging commitment to a strategy that would bring the Cold War to a close. Tactics and rhetoric changed to fit changing circumstances. Ultimately, only Mr. Gorbachev could stop the Cold War, but it was Mr. Reagan who brought him to that pass.

Peter Hannaford was closely associated with Ronald Reagan for a number of years. He is the author of five books about the late president.