From Publishers Weekly
Author of President Reagan: Role of a Lifetime, journalist Cannon is considered by many to be the leading contemporary Reagan biographer. Here he does a stellar job of recounting Reagan's first two terms in higher office as governor of California. In 1966, during his campaign against Democratic incumbent Edmund G. Brown Sr., Reagan spoke out against campus radicals and welfare cheaters, and won the governorship by a margin of nearly one million votes. Throughout the first six of Reagan's eight years in Sacramento, he was confronted by an unfriendly Democratic legislature, but nevertheless made inroads when it came to reforming welfare and expanding higher education. In fact, Cannon points to welfare reform as a capstone of Reagan's governorship. Alarmed at the rapid escalation of welfare costs, Reagan in 1971-near the start of his second term-proposed a comprehensive welfare and Medi-Cal reform package, the latter a more liberal version of the federal Medicaid program. Reagan's recipe proved a huge success. In practice, it dropped the number of welfare recipients overall, increased benefits for those still covered by more than 40% and saved the state of California millions. Cannon also details Reagan's victories with regard to higher education. By the end of Reagan's second term, support for the University of California system had more than doubled over what it had been when the former actor assumed office. Cannon recounts all this-together with the tangled tale of Reagan's doomed, quixotic 1968 bid for the presidency-with skill and grace, painting a vivid portrait of a formidable politician in the process of becoming. Illus. not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"...a remarkable chronicle of the events leading up to the Reagan presidency. It provides fascinating reading and a rich account...." -- Ed Meese, National Review, November 10, 2003.
"...it's amazing how much fresh detail he breathes into a story that many Californians probably think they know by heart..." -- San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2003.
"A lucid account...Governor Reagan
is a welcome achievement..." -- New York Times Book Review, November 19, 2003.
"Cannon [writes]... with skill and grace, painting a vivid portrait of a formidable politician in the process of becoming." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review), July 28, 2003.
"Cannon's book could not be timelier, now that another actor has conquered Sacramento." -- Hollywood Reporter, October 23, 2003
"In Governor Reagan
, Mr. Cannon demonstrates...why he's so consistently lauded - and why his subject is so consistently underestimated." -- New York Observer, October 15, 2003.
"Mr. Cannon - arguably Reagan's most thorough biographer - paints a many dimensional picture of the ex-actor's Sacramento years." -- Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2003
"a welcome contribution to the political bookshelf." -- Boston Globe, October 26, 2003.