Review of “Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power” by Lou Cannon

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

Published in 2003, Lou Cannon’s “Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power” is the prequel to his 1991 biography “President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime.”  Cannon is a journalist who covered Reagan for nearly four decades – first as a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and later as White House correspondent for The Washington Post. He is the author of five books on Ronald Reagan.

As the most recently published of Cannon’s books, “Governor Reagan” is informed by an extremely wide array of sources including hundreds of interviews with individuals associated with Reagan’s gubernatorial campaign and administration, detailed cabinet meeting notes and other insightful documents including memoirs and diaries.

Despite its title, this 511 page book does not focus exclusively on his two terms as California’s governor.  The first one-fourth of the book proves an extremely useful review of his childhood, education and…

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