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nbruce writes "The following story is at Christianity Today website. Full story
"It's a fabulous story. At the end of this book, That Printer of Udell's, they send Dick off to Washington D.C. as the polished Mr. Richard Faulkner, to save the world. This 11-year-old, Ronald Reagan, puts down the book goes to his mom and says I want to be like that man. I want to be baptized. That book taught him practical Christianity. What Reagan called practical Christianity, and what the author called practical Christianity. The author, Harold Bell Wright, you and I have never heard of him, but he sold millions of those books around the turn of the century. Harold Bell Wright retired from ministry and died a rich man from all these books.
The book is 460-some pages, and it's pretty sophisticated. I have trouble picture an 11-year-old reading it. Reagan read the whole thing, and internalized it, and it changed his life. He said I want to get baptized and I want to be like that man."
My parents and grandparents read Wright, and I don't recall anyone thinking he was difficult--tastes are different today. About 20 movies were made from Harold Bell Wright's books, "Shepherd of the Hills" several times."