Descripción de editorial
Visionary. Iconoclast. Political Survivor. "A powerful and entertaining look" (Governor Gavin Newsom) at the extraordinary life and political career of Governor Jerry Brown.
Jerry Brown is no ordinary politician. Like his state, he is eclectic, brilliant, unpredictable and sometimes weird. And, as with so much that California invents and exports, Brown's life story reveals a great deal about this country.
With the exclusive cooperation of Governor Brown himself, Jim Newton has written the definitive account of Jerry Brown's life. The son of Pat Brown, who served as governor of California through the 1960s, Jerry would extend and also radically alter the legacy of his father through his own service in the governor's mansion. As governor, first in the 1970s and then again, 28 years later in his remarkable return to power, Jerry Brown would propound an alternative menu of American values: the restoration of the California economy while balancing the state budget, leadership in the international campaign to combat climate change and the aggressive defense of California's immigrants, no matter by which route they arrived. It was a blend of compassion, far-sightedness and pragmatism that the nation would be wise to consider.
The story of Jerry Brown's life is in many ways the story of California and how it became the largest economy in the United States. Man of Tomorrow traces the blueprint of Jerry Brown's off beat risk-taking: equal parts fiscal conservatism and social progressivism. Jim Newton also reveals another side of Jerry Brown, the once-promising presidential candidate whose defeat on the national stage did nothing to diminish the scale of his political, intellectual and spiritual ambitions.
To the same degree that California represents the future of America, Jim Newton's account of Jerry Brown's life offers a new way of understanding how politics works today and how it could work in the future.
In this overblown hagiography, journalist Newton (coauthor, Worthy Fights) views the life of four-term California governor Jerry Brown through the lens of the state's post-WWII cultural, economic, and political upheavals. Charting Brown's path from 18-year-old seminary student to Yale Law School graduate to governor (from 1975 to 1983 and again from 2011 to 2019) and presidential candidate (in 1976, 1980, and 1992), Newton highlights Brown's "lifelong unwillingness to accept convention" and "the Oedipal impulses that connected and divided" him and his father, two-term California governor Pat Brown. In interviews conducted between 2016 and 2019, Brown reveals little about the rationale behind his career choices (which also included stints as mayor of Oakland and California attorney general) and stances on issues such as nuclear power, criminal justice reform, real estate development vs. environmental protections, and "fiscal responsibility." Newton fills in the gaps with colorful sketches of California history, including the Manson murders and the rise of Silicon Valley, and exhaustive details about budget proposals and statewide ballot measures, but doesn't get far beyond the shallow assessment that Brown's mix of conservative and liberal principles makes him "thoroughly and completely his own person." Readers hoping for deeper insight into California's longest-serving governor will be disappointed.