Review of “President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime” by Lou Cannon

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

Lou Cannon’s “President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime” was published in 1991 and is effectively the sequel to the later-published “Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power.” Cannon is a journalist who covered Reagan’s political career closely 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 title suggests, the vast majority of this weighty 764 page book is focused on Reagan’s two-term presidency. But periodic detours in early chapters provide the reader an informative peek into Reagan’s past by demonstrating how Reagan’s childhood, role as an actor and penchant for storytelling influenced his political career.

Critics of Ronald Reagan may find Cannon too friendly to his subject at times. But devotees of the 40th president are likely…

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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at

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