Thatcher on Reagan. Read the whole thing.
In his lifetime, Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America's wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world and to free the slaves of communism. These were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk.
Yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. For Ronald Reagan also embodied another great cause -- what Arnold Bennett once called 'the great cause of cheering us all up.' His politics had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every class and every nation -- and ultimately from the very heart of the evil empire
Others prophesied the decline of the West; he inspired America and its allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom.
Others saw only limits to growth; he transformed a stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity.
Others hoped, at best, for an uneasy cohabitation with the Soviet Union; he won the Cold War -- not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends.