MANY PEOPLE MADE this book possible. My greatest debt is to my wife, Mary Shinkwin Cannon, to whom this book is dedicated. She did most of the research, prepared the chapter notes and bibliography, and served throughout as editor, critic, and friend. It is an understatement to say that this book could never have been written without her.
Nor would it have been written without the encouragement of my editors at The Washington Post, who were most patient and understanding when the completion of this project took a year longer than originally intended. These editors, all of them also authors, are Benjamin Bradlee, Leonard Downie, and Robert Kaiser.
I owe a debt of gratitude to my editor at Simon and Schuster, Alice Mayhew, who believed in this book from the beginning, made many constructive suggestions during the course of editing it, and was generous in seeing that I had the resources to complete it. And I am also in the debt of my agent, Kristine Dahl, who was always encouraging when encouragement was most necessary, and her helpful assistant, Gordon Kato. I also appreciate the efforts made by George Hodgman, Sophie Sorkin, and others at Simon and Schuster in this book's behalf.
Six friends of considerable professional accomplishment read the book in manuscript, providing pertinent opinions and detecting errors. Three are colleagues at The Washington Post: the nonpareil political correspondent David S. Broder; my former editor on the national staff, Peter Silberman; and longtime State Department correspondent Don Oberdorfer, who made valuable suggestions for the chapters dealing with foreign policy. The other readers were the inimitable writer and scholar William Lee Miller of the University of Virginia, who provided useful criticisms of every chapter; Bill Plante, who covered the Reagan administration for CBS News and shared his insights; and my eldest son, Carl Cannon, national political correspondent for Knight-Ridder Newspapers. Much of the research for the sections of the book dealing with AIDS and poverty during the Reagan years was Carl's work.
Gwen Rubinstein, formerly of OMB Watch, did much of the early research on this book with skill and competence. Her research on adult children of alcoholics was of particular value. Gwen was also principally responsible for the organization of 1,800 files on the Reagan presidency. That these files were in existence was primarily due to the work of my