No Joke

It’s not clear why the University of California Press chose April First to bring out a new biography of Jerry Brown, but it did.

There is a review (really a comment) by Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters of the new book.  Some excerpts:

Chuck McFadden, a retired wire service reporter who worked in Sacramento, wrote “Trailblazer” for the University of California Press and the relatively slender volume takes a terse, journalistic approach that is both a plus and a minus. Someone who is unfamiliar with Brown’s first governorship – that’s just about anyone under the age of 50 – has a primer on his long and unusual political career that is neither critical nor admiring. But Brown is a mass of contradictions who wallows in his lack of consistency, as McFadden acknowledges but cannot explain…

“Brown is a man capable of attending a Zen retreat and on the return trip home plotting a campaign that involves the brutal ending of another politician’s hopes and dreams,” McFadden writes, adding that Brown “has seemed undisturbed by these seemingly contradictory themes running through his life and in fact has given every appearance of enjoying their interplay.”…

Full article at

Since the book just came out, yours truly has not seen it.  But for those concerned about Brown as an ex officio regent, you should know that Brown has always enjoyed being provocative.  His first elective office was to the LA Community College board in 1969, during a period of student unrest related to the Vietnam War and other issues of the day. At that time, he argued for a specially-trained police squad under the governor to deal with campus violence: