A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future
Jennifer Granholm & Dan Mulhern
PublicAffairs, 2011 (2011)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Bob Walch
his is the candid story of how election rhetoric collided with reality after Jennifer Granholm became Michigan's first female governor in 2003.
hen Granholm took the oath of office she was set to revitalize the state's economy and reform its educational system. Then the inherited fiscal crisis was made worse by an economic collapse that nearly destroyed the auto industry, and by infrastructure breakdowns from hospital systems to the energy grid.
he new governor soon found herself right in the thick of the most serious meltdown to hit Michigan in its history, or at least since the Great Depression.
his is her firsthand account of what it was like to be on the front line of a struggle that gripped her state and then the rest of the country. With jobs disappearing virtually overnight, major industries slipping into bankruptcy, the tax base faltering , property values falling and budget deficits increasing, Granholm had her hands full.
nly after eight years of experimentation did the two-time governor discover a formula for renewed growth and a return to something akin to prosperity. Through private-public partnerships with clean energy and the auto industries, Granholm was able to revolutionize the state's manufacturing base.
There's much more work to be done. Michigan's economic battles are far from over,
' explains Granholm. '
But we've found a path to progress that is starting to work – and it's a path that can enable America to prevail in the coming decades as well. That's the larger significance of our story – and the real reason that we hope people everywhere will read and heed the lessons of Michigan.
orn in Vancouver, Canada, Jennifer Granholm served as Michigan's governor from 2003 through 2010. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Granholm presently teaches in the law and public policy schools at Berkeley as well as at Harvard Law School.
an Mulhern is the former governor's husband and he also teaches at UCB.
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