Big Daddy

May 25, 2008 at 7:55 pm | Posted in Books, Politics | Leave a comment

Bill Boyarsky’s “Big Daddy – Jesse Unruh and the Art of Power Politics” goes beyond a simple biography of the California Assembly speaker. Jesse Unruh was arguably the most influential person to ever hold the post, and was known for creating a full-time state legislature and crafting a civil rights law that was used as the basis for the federal Civil Rights Act.

The book describes the bipartisan political climate of the 1960s when California was truly the Golden State, with a centrist government that was both progressive and business-friendly. The tumultous year of 1968 marked the end of Unruh’s speakership and also the beginning of California’s descent into partisan politics and gridlock that continues to this day.

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