Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown

Little, Brown. May 2020. 448p. ISBN 9780316392464. $30. BIOG
Jerry Brown, former four-term governor of California, has been in the public eye for nearly a half-century, having been the longest-serving governor of the state. Elected twice in different decades, 1975–83 and 2011–19, Brown also served as mayor of Oakland (1999–2007) and attorney general of California (2007–11). Newton, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, has spent years observing the politician’s long record of public service, and his years out of office. This lengthy, detailed yet accessible account delves into the leader’s public and private life, including his childhood as the son of former California governor Pat Brown. Throughout, Newton offers insight into the personal and intellectual influences that shaped his subject’s approach to government. This work sets itself apart from others, such as Miriam Pavel’s The Browns of California, by contributing a more complete picture of this political figure, using firsthand interviews with Brown himself as well as numerous secondary sources. By also describing unsuccessful efforts to run for California senate in 1982 and the presidency in 1992, Newton gives a nuanced portrait of Brown as well as his complex political philosophy.
VERDICT An insider political biography that will have national appeal.

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