California Comeback: The Genius of Jerry Brown

Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5,
344 pages.
ISBN: 9781597144506.


By Narda Zacchino

How did a so-called “failed state” manage to revitalize itself as a socioeconomic superpower in just five years? In California Comeback, award-winning journalist Narda Zacchino credits four-term governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown and his progressive policies with the Golden State’s return from the brink of economic collapse. Although California has a reputation for left-leaning ideology, Brown’s first stint as governor in the 1970s and early ’80s ushered in an era of conservatism bulwarked by Proposition 13. California drifted stutteringly rightward, and when Brown took office again in 2011, the state was teetering under a $27 billion deficit. By raising taxes on the wealthy while imposing rigorous environmental protections and humane immigration policies, Brown led California to adopt a different model, one in which fiscally sound government and social liberalism were status quo—and one in which California could outperform the rest of the nation. This book gives a resounding answer to the question of how a multicultural, democratic, and postindustrial society endures in the face of devastation.


Narda Zacchino is a journalist, writer, and editor. After graduating from UCLA, she worked at the Los Angeles Times for over thirty years, eventually serving as vice president and associate editor for the publication. She has also been the deputy editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the International Women’s Media Foundation and Journalism and Women’s Symposium. Outside of journalism, Zacchino is the editor and author of numerous notable books, and the founder of independent publisher Time Capsule Press. She is currently Heyday’s executive editor and a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy, and continues to work as an independent writer and editor.