Appeared on annual best-of lists for the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune

“An impressive and valuable book. Built on prodigious research…grounded in sound judgment and fair-minded assessments, and sustained by a lively, fast-paced narrative full of vivid characters and telling anecdotes, The Right Moment represents political history at its very best” 
                    --Steven Gillon, The Chicago Tribune
“Gripping…. In the place that brought us Watts riots and the Berkeley Free Speech movement, Mario Savio and Huey P. Newton, Hollywood and holistic health, another 1960s was playing out. Largely dismissed by commentators at the time and ignored by historians afterward, a new conservative order was rising…. The story of California [through its] savvy right wing.” 
                    --Thomas Sugrue, The Washington Post Book World
“Engaging…[Dallek] succeeds admirably in tracing the roots of the Reagan phenomenon to the turmoil of the mid-1960s.” 
                    --The New York Times Book Review
“Clear, compelling, page-turning…. Weave[s] ideas, personalities, national trends, California political history and Sacramento insider politics into one seamless whole.”
                    --The Washington Times
“A refreshing and well-written book, and it tells a good story…. Dallek shows Reagan not as an empty-headed actor memorizing lines, but as an intensely serious right wing ideologue, and a gifted proponent of his views.”
                    --Michael Waldman, The Washington Monthly
“The story of [Reagan’s] rise is ably told by Matthew Dallek in his well-researched chronicle of Reagan’s extraordinary run for the California governorship in 1966, a victory nearly as total as Goldwater’s loss. By crushing the incumbent Edmund ‘Pat’ Brown, a star of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing, Reagan rescued Goldwtaerism and made it the dominant force in the modern GOP…and in the politics of the past thirty-five years.”
                    --Sam Tanenhaus, The New Republic
The Right Moment…is an inspiration for me right now. I’m running for governor, just as Reagan did, but I also appreciate the book’s spirit of hope and the example of how somebody can reach inside himself.” 
                    --2002 California GOP gubernatorial nominee, Bill Simon, National Review Online
“Dallek is masterful at providing the telling detail… [His] thorough account provides the raw material for an explanation of Reagan’s political success.”
                    --The American Prospect
“In this briskly readable, insightful…study, Dallek (who has been a columnist for Slate and a contributor to the Atlantic Monthly, Salon, and other publications) argues with some justification that the California election was a watershed event…. Dallek’s even-handed, incisive critique will compel both liberals and conservatives to rethink their strategies.” 
                    --Publisher’s Weekly
The Right Moment may be the seminal work on Reagan’s first gubernatorial campaign…. Dallek grasps the long-term importance of those early Reagan years and understands that Reagan personally was a vital, irreplaceable force within that period, and thus far beyond as well. This book…will help shape the historical view of Ronald Reagan.” 
                    --The American Enterprise Online
“By zeroing in on this half-forgotten episode in Reagan’s career, Dallek shows how the consequences of one election can reverberate throughout the years…. Readers will be drawn to The Right Moment for its detailed chronicle of how Reagan got his start in politics.”
“Exhaustively researched in primary sources, The Right Moment nevertheless moves at a breathtaking pace. Ours is a golden age of political biography and reportage, and with this stunning debut Matthew Dallek joins the front ranks of practitioners. In the 1966 gubernatorial contest between Ronald Reagan and Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, long-standing alliances collapsed and the politics of the nation itself veered in a new and post-New Deal direction. Here at once is the inside story and the national significance of what happened that summer and fall in volatile California.” 
                    --Dr. Kevin Starr, author of the Americans and the California Dream series
"A rich, multidimensional picture not only of the 1966 California gubernatorial election but also of the contrasting political worlds out of which the two candidates came. The Right Moment helps explain how and why the confident, optimistic (and at times somewhat arrogant) liberalism of the 1950s and 1960s unraveled, and how newly powerful conservative forces moved in to pick up the pieces." 
                    --Alan Brinkley, author of Liberalism and Its Discontents