Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power” as Want to Read:
Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  102 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A comprehensive biography of Ronald Reagan 's governorship, based on never-before mined cabinet minutes, recent interviews with former staff members, and a lifetime of reporting from the former president 's definitive biographer. In Governor Reagan, Lou Cannon offers -through recent interviews and research drawn from his unique access to the cabinet minutes of Reagan's fir ...more
Hardcover, 579 pages
Published September 19th 2003 by PublicAffairs (first published September 1st 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Governor Reagan, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Governor Reagan

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 294)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Todd Stockslager
Jun 08, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Cannon has made somewhat of a career out of covering Ronald Reagan in California and Washington, DC as he ascended from "citizen-politician" to Governor and then to President. This volume provides a brief biography of the citizen years, then covers the 8 years of Reagan's two terms in Sacramento (1967-1974).

Written (and read) in hindsight, it is hard to separate the President to come from the governor who was, but Cannon does an excellent job of conveying the politics and progress of Reagan in h
Fred Kohn
Mar 11, 2015 Fred Kohn rated it it was amazing
Definitely better that the previous two Reagan biographies I have read. This one caught my eye because of my interest in the early Reagan years, especially his years in Hollywood. I definitely see more Lou Cannon books in my future. The one thing some might find annoying is the emphasis on "behind the scenes" details. The author seems fond of recalling personal moments with Reagan, especially some tidbit shared while flying together. For me, this added color to the book, but in the last section ...more
Frank Stein
Nov 09, 2009 Frank Stein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The author of this book is a journalist who quite literally spent the last 40 years following Reagan around, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Cannon has already written three books about Reagan, and one does get the feeling that some of the material in this book has been worked over more than once. One of Cannon's earlier books, Reagan (1982), basically covered the same period, and as far as I can tell the inspiration for writing this book, or for amending the old one, was Cannon's di
Oct 30, 2010 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Question: which CA governor passed the largest tax increase in the state's history (at its time), blocked the damning of the Feather River, blocked the construction of a Trans-Sierra highway, expanded Redwood National Park and liberalized abortion laws pre-Roe v. Wade? Answer: Ronald Reagan.

Excellent book about Reagan focusing on his life before politics and his time as governor. He really was a pragmatist before he was a conservative. He was not a very intellectual man - one of my favorite vign
Sep 24, 2016 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, fair, and balanced book about Reagan's years as governor and his campaign for President. Cannon obviously did a ton of research and interviewed many of the players involved in those days. There were still some undeserved pot shots at Reagan, but Cannon seems to understand him better than most other biographers. His analysis of Reagan's political skills and instincts is worth the price alone.
Jul 05, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it
Absolutely outstanding fair and balanced look at Governor Reagan. He did a lot in California that I never knew about. For instance, pass the largest tax increase in the history of the state. Mr. Reagan was a true pragmatist unlike this President in the White House right now. Many conservatives don't really know the true Reagan, they just think they do. The inter party feud with Ford was a fascinating look at Republican politics, in some ways applicable and pertinent in today's Republican party. ...more
Jan 19, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those well researched books that leaves one with a lot of facts but few insights. I preferred Wills' book. Even Morris' book was more comprehensive, although I wouldn't recommend it.
Apr 05, 2008 Mike rated it liked it
Lou Cannon is the dean of books on Ronald Reagan. Having followed Reagan's career from the very beginning, Cannon has the insight and first hand knowledge of California politics to make this book very good.
Matthew Dambro
Mar 03, 2016 Matthew Dambro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this some years ago. Excellent political biography.
Sep 16, 2011 Joshua is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A good source of inspiration.
Diane marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2016
Amanda Holzer
Amanda Holzer marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2016
Valerie Carlsen
Valerie Carlsen rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2016
MJ marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2016
Heidihark marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2016
Eric marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2016
Rosalina  Cuevas
Rosalina Cuevas rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2016
David Watson
David Watson marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2016
Narti rated it liked it
Sep 13, 2016
Paul marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2016
Lee Summerlin
Lee Summerlin rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2016
Diabollical marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2016
Andrew rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2016
Christine Moffit
Christine Moffit marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2016
Justin Tait
Justin Tait is currently reading it
Sep 19, 2016
Denise marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Melanie marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Brad Powlen
Brad Powlen rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2016
HM frye
HM frye marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Reagan's War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism
  • Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times 1961-1973
  • Reagan's Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All
  • The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980
  • Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full
  • Jefferson and the Rights of Man
  • A Different Drummer: My Thirty Years with Ronald Reagan
  • Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire, 1767-1821
  • President Nixon: Alone in the White House
  • LBJ: Architect of American Ambition
  • James Madison and the Making of America
  • Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile
  • From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War
  • Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America
  • Journals, 1952-2000
  • 1960--LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies
  • The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War
  • Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
Louis Cannon (born 1933) is an American journalist, non-fiction author, and biographer. He was state bureau chief for the San Jose Mercury News in the late 1960s and later senior White House correspondent of the Washington Post during the Ronald Reagan administration. He is a prolific biographer of US President Ronald Reagan and has written five books about him.
More about Lou Cannon...

Share This Book