Synopses & Reviews
Los Angeles Times veteran Zacchino does a workmanlike job of presenting the recent history of the Golden State in service of her contention that its current left leaning political orientation is a model to be emulated. Readers unfamiliar with the consequences of Enron’s fraudulent manipulation of the energy market or of Proposition 13 the 1978 law that capped property taxes and wrecked the state’s budget will find both clearly explained here. Current governor Jerry Brown himself the son of a California governor is the hero of the book. Zacchino traces his complicated political trajectory—elected in 1974 out by 1983 and reelected in 2010—culminating with his successful push for passage in 2012 of Proposition 30 by which Californians approved a major tax increase to fund basic services. Zacchino does a balanced job of portraying a talented politician who achieved the seemingly impossible. The force of her analysis however is vitiated by hyperbolic claims that California is “the key test case” for the entire planet as to whether a “multicultural democratic and postindustrial society” can endure in today’s globalized world. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."