Regional Nonfiction Finalist, Next Generation Indie Book Awards
The latest CHS Book Award winner examines California’s history through the prism of twelve elections that forever changed the state. Drawing from a wealth of primary sources, including new interviews conducted by the authors, each chapter explores one election (Leland Stanford’s gubernatorial race, the initiative that mandated term limits, and the Los Angeles Aqueduct Bond Measure, to name a few), revealing the forces behind the choices made at the polls and the consequences that carry over to this day. The authors offer thought-provoking interpretation rooted in decades of experience in journalism, public-policy analysis, and political consulting at the state Capitol. Through their perspectives we better understand the intricate game played in Sacramento by contenders such as the bespectacled and brilliant progressive reformer Hiram Johnson, iconoclastic muckraker-turned-candidate Upton Sinclair, and Proposition 13 author Howard Jarvis, with his zealous oratory and machete approach to tax reform. By focusing on elections, the authors show that Californians’ voices are as powerful and transformative as the tectonic forces beneath us.
Published in collaboration with the California Historical Society