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In politics, as in so many other areas, California is unique. The state's economy - the largest in the nation, and sixth largest in the world - is given to dramatic swings. Its legislative system is often defined by gridlock on matters large and small. The use of the initiative, one of the tools of "direct democracy", has become commonplace. Over the years, California has had more than its share of political turmoil. But for pure melodrama, nothing matches the 2003 campaign to recall the state's sitting governor, Gray Davis. Recall relates the latest and most dramatic chapter in the political history of the Golden State. The authors are recognized experts on California politics and regular local television political analysts. They provide fascinating coverage of the events leading up to Davis's replacement by bodybuilder-turned actor-turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger; describe the large and colorful cast of characters involved in the special election; and demonstrate how California's one-of-a-kind mix of political, economic, and social circumstances made it all possible.
About the Author
Larry N. Gerston is professor of political science at San Jose State University and the author or co-author of seven books on state and national politics. His Public Policy Making in a Democratic Society: A Guide to Civic Engagement has been heralded as a breakthrough primer for citizen involvement. Likewise, his California Politics and Government: A Practical Guide (co-authored with Terry Christensen) has sold more than 100,000 copies as the most popular book in its field. A native Californian, Gerston has worked for a county supervisor and a state legislator. For the past twenty-three years, he has been the political analyst at NBC11 in the San Francisco Bay area. In addition, Gerston has published The Costco Experience: An Unofficial Survivor's Guide, a hands-on, tongue-in-cheek book about the world of warehouse shopping. Terry Christensen is professor of political science at San Jose State University and the author or co-author of six books and many newspaper op-ed pieces. He is frequently consulted by local and national media concerning political issues in California and Silicon Valley. He is currently at work on new editions of Reel Politics: American Political Movies from Birth of a Nation to Platoon, and Local Politics: Governing at the Grassroots (both forthcoming in 2005). He has served on numerous civic committees and commissions and currently is a member of the Advisory Board of City Year/ Silicon Valley and Program Chair for the Commonwealth Club/Silicon Valley. In 1998, he was named San Jose State University's Outstanding Professor.