Understanding California Government and Politics

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Understanding California Government and Politics
Hardcover Edition
Book cover
Author Leo Ryan, editor
Country United States
Language English
Subject American history,
California politics
Genre non-fiction
Publisher Fearon Publishers, Palo Alto, California, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66-19105.
Publication date
Media type Hardcover
Pages 152
Followed by USA/From Where We Stand

USA/From Where We Stand: Readings in Contemporary American Problems is a non-fiction book published by Fearon Publishers in 1966.

The book was written by then-Assemblyman for California's 27th District, Leo J. Ryan.[1] Ryan later went on to become a United States Representative from California's 11th congressional district.[2] Ryan was assassinated by members of Peoples Temple in Guyana. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1983.[3][4][5][6]


Congressman Leo Ryan

The book functions as a guide to California politics and government.[7] Topics discussed include California elections, political parties, State Government including the executive, legislative and judiciary branches, local government, and finances.[7] Information on California's legislative districts, and budget statistics are included in the appendix.[7] Leo Ryan's introduction is a tribute to John F. Kennedy, the man who inspired Ryan to get into politics.

Ryan stated that the book's purpose was: "..to present our system of government in such a way that you will look upon it as an exciting, challenging, rewarding occupation, worthy of understanding and, perhaps, of your own ambition. Why? Because it is. It was all of that to John F. Kennedy."[7]


  1. ^ Simon, Mark (December 10, 1998). "A Trip Into The Heart Of Darkness: Always larger than life, Leo Ryan courted danger.". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. A17. 
  2. ^ United States Congress. "RYAN, Leo Joseph, (1925 - 1978)". United States Congress. Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  3. ^ "Statement on Signing the Bill Authorizing a Congressional Gold Medal Honoring the Late Representative Leo J. Ryan" (Press release). President Ronald Reagan. November 18, 1983. Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  4. ^ Trescott, Jacqueline (November 30, 1984). "Leo Ryan honored. (with Medal of Honor)". The Washington Post. pp. v107 pC4 col 5 (10 col in). 
  5. ^ Staff (November 27, 1984). "Reagan to give medal for slain congressman. (Leo J. Ryan)". The New York Times. pp. pA25(L) col 2 (4 col in). 
  6. ^ "Congressman Tom Lantos' Remarks on the 25th Anniversary of the Tragedy at Jonestown and the Death of Congressman Leo Ryan" (Press release). Tom Lantos. 2003-11-17. Retrieved 2006-09-08. 
  7. ^ a b c d Ryan, Leo J. (1966). Understanding California Government and Politics. Palo Alto, California, United States: Fearon Publishers. pp. 152 pgs.