He would have turned 95 on Feb. 6 – the most recent former president to die and likely the most popular and inspiring chief executive of the 20th century.

Ronald Reagan – known as unflappably pro-defense yet able to forge friendships with his adversaries. Staunchly partisan and loyal to the Republican Party yet deft at crafting compromise with Democratic lawmakers to move his agenda forward. A tax cutter who presided over a significant expansion in revenues to the federal government.

Though Reagan’s legacy includes accomplishments in all areas of public policy, it is his success in toppling the “Evil Empire” – Soviet-style communism – that is perhaps his most significant achievement.

Reagan’s victory is portrayed richly in the DVD documentary “In the Face of Evil.”

“There’s a spiritual quality to this new movie documentary – which chronicles Ronald Reagan’s 40-year struggle and ultimate triumph against communism – that defies description,” writes WND managing editor David Kupelian in a review of the film.

“With great courage and moral clarity, and ignoring the advice of many ‘experts’ even in his own administration, Reagan personally mapped out a four-part plan – not just military, but economic, political and psychological – to crush the Soviet Union once and for all. This will be news to most people, many of whom still think the ‘amiable dunce,’ the ‘cowboy actor’ with the ‘million-dollar smile’ just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and reaped undeserved credit for winning the Cold War.”

Continues Kupelian:

If you want to truly understand Ronald Reagan for the first time, you must see this film.

If you want to understand the 20th century, and how communism was really defeated, you must see this film.

If you have children, and want them to understand what leadership is really all about, and what modern history is really all about, and what one of the greatest American presidents was really all about, you must see this film.

And if you want to understand exactly how we can and must defeat the current insane, utopian system which has declared war on America – radical Islamism – then you must see this film.

Quipped Reagan in 1987: ” How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

Reagan took office in 1981 with an unabashed skepticism of government. Said the new president in his first Inaugural Address:

“It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work – work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.”

Later that year, Reagan told a group of business leaders: “The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.”

And on another occasion: “Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.”

One of Reagan’s other legacies was instilling a pride and optimism in Americans after years of “malaise” had set in during the Jimmy Carter years.

In his farewell address to the nation, Reagan referred to that accomplishment, saying, “We’ve done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.”

Three years before, Reagan commented, “What brought America back? The American people brought us back – with quiet courage and common sense; with undying faith that in this nation under God the future will be ours, for the future belongs to the free.”

‘I owe my life to God’

Indeed, Reagan often invoked the name of God and emphasized the power of faith.

Reagan giving Normandy address in 1984.

“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or the next,” said Reagan on the famous French beach as he commemorated U.S. involvement in freeing Europe from Hitler. “It was the deep knowledge – and pray God we have not lost it – that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest.”

After Reagan survived an assassination attempt in 1981, he said he had a newly realized appreciation for the fact that God had a specific purpose for him and his life, and that he would dedicate himself to fulfilling that purpose.

“Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in every way I can,” he wrote in his diary shortly after the shooting.

Though Reagan had a deep faith, many biographers have given short shrift to his relationship with God. In “Hand of Providence,” however, author Mary Beth Brown focuses on Reagan’s Christian beliefs and shows how it was faith that guided the president along his distinguished career and led him to his unprecedented success.

With the support of the Gipper’s own words and writings and first-hand interviews with Reagan’s family, friends and co-workers, Brown weaves the story of Reagan’s strong devotion to God.

“Freedom prospers,” Reagan said, “when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”

Celebrate Reagan’s birthday with “In the Face of Evil” and “Hand of Providence.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.