President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime

By Lou Cannon | Go to book overview

PREFACE TO THE 1991 EDITION

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER with Ronald Reagan occurred late in the autumn of 1965 when he visited Sacramento during a trip around the state to drum up interest in his candidacy for governor. Reagan gave a short speech, answered a few questions from a curious audience and stayed afterward to chat with reporters, many of whom remembered him as the host of General Electric Theater or Death Valley Days. A former Democrat who had become a Republican, Reagan was then a supposedly washed-up actor who was in the process of changing careers. On October 27, 1964, he had stirred conservatives out of their socks with a rousing nationally televised speech in behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. But Goldwater had been demolished by Lyndon Johnson in the election the following week, and Reagan in 1965 bore a "Goldwater Republican" label. The Democrats were so unimpressed by Reagan that many of them were rooting for him to win the Republican nomination, certain that he would be defeated by Democratic Governor Pat Brown.

Reagan made a good impression on his audience in Sacramento. He readily confessed that he knew little about government but suggested that his lack of experience would give him the advantage of taking a fresh look at California's problems. He answered questions sensibly and without a hint of guile. He was as pleasant in response to skeptical questioners as he was to friendly ones. He fascinated me. What I noticed most was that everyone seemed to like him, the reporters included. When my editor at the San Jose Mercury-News asked me afterward what I thought of Reagan, I said that I couldn't understand why anyone would want to run against such a self-assured and friendly man. And I still don't fully understand why the Democrats regarded Reagan as such an easy mark. Subsequently, he defeated Brown by nearly a million votes, which was no small feat. Although he bore the scars of two-term incumbency, Pat Brown was a capable politician who had routed Richard Nixon in the gubernatorial race four years earlier. How had Reagan done it? And why was it, after his victory, that he so totally dominated the California political landscape? On one level he seemed the "citizen-politician" he claimed to be, almost completely ignorant of even civics-book information about how bills were passed or how an administration functioned. But on another level, he seemed the most consummate and effective politician I had ever met.

The late Carey McWilliams once told me that the essential motive of his

-ix-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Lou Cannon ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to the 1991 Edition ix
  • Preface to the 2000 Edition xi
  • 1 - Back to the Future 1
  • 2 - A Reagan Portrait 16
  • 3 - The Acting Politician 20
  • 4 - The Acting President 31
  • 5 - Offstage Influences 45
  • 6 - Heroic Dreams 66
  • 7 - Halcyon Days 78
  • 8 - Kidding on the Square 95
  • 9 - Hail to the Chief 115
  • 10 - Passive President 141
  • 11 - The Loner 172
  • 12 - Staying the Course 196
  • 13 - Focus of Evil 240
  • 14 - Freedom Fighters 289
  • 15 - Lost in Lebanon 339
  • 16 - An Actor Abroad 402
  • 17 - Morning Again in America 434
  • 18 - Turning Point 488
  • 19 - Darkness at Noon 521
  • 20 - Struggles at Twilight 580
  • 21 - The New Era 663
  • 22 - Visions and Legacies 711
  • Notes 765
  • Bibliography 820
  • Acknowledgments 835
  • Index 843
  • About the Author 885
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 890

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.