The San Francisco Chronicle asked me to write about whether California’s ongoing crisis has changed state government as we know it. My answer, in this Sunday Insight article, has been released from behind the Chron’s pay wall. Check it out.
In California Crackup, Joe Mathews and Mark Paul provide clear and informed answers.
Their fast-paced and often humorous narrative deftly exposes the origins of our current political and fiscal problems—from the ugly 1879 constitutional convention to Hiram Johnson’s Progressive reforms to the Prop 13 tax revolt and its legacy of supermajority requirements and voter initiatives.
Mathews and Paul then furnish an uniquely California fix: innovative solutions that allow Californians to debate their choices, settle on the best ones, hold elected officials accountable for results, and choose anew if something doesn’t work.
Concise, lively, and provocative, California Crackup offers something new: a genuinely democratic operating system for the state.
“Indispensable." James Fallows, author of China Airborne.
"A compelling book.” Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball.
“A terrific book.... The clarity of their writing and the cogency of their argument put to shame the content of the current campaign for governor.” Calbuzz
“[T]he best ideas for rebuilding California’s government that the state has seen since — well, probably ever.” Harold Meyerson, American Prospect
“Neither Mr. Brown or Ms. Whitman, as they attempt to blaze a trail to the governor’s mansion, have suggested anything as sweeping as the proposals in California Crackup.” Wall Street Journal
“When Mathews and Paul shine a light on the way we do things, it’s enough to make a cockroach blush.” Dan Bernstein
“One of the most cogent, freshest, and incisive diagnoses of what ails California.” Matt Miller
“Brisk, well-argued, at times darkly funny.” Scott Timberg
“Their lucid analysis is spiked with wit and appealing turns of phrase.” Chris Smith
“This is a very good book. Everyone should read it.” Ginger Mayerson