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Ronald Reagan's first great victory in the 1966 California governor's race is one of the pivotal stories of American political history, a victory that seemed to come from nowhere and has long since confounded his critics. Just four years earlier Governor Edmund "Pat" Brown was celebrated as the "Giant Killer" for his 1962 victory over Richard Nixon, and his liberal agenda reigned supreme. Yet in 1966 political neophyte Reagan trounced Brown by almost one million votes, marking not only the coming-of-age of Reagan's new conservatism but also the first serious blow to modern liberalism. Drawing on scores of oral histories, thousands of archival documents, and personal interviews with participants, Dallek offers a gripping new portrait of the 1960s that is far more complicated than our collective memory of that decade.