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A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future [Hardcover] Paperback – 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005OXR3ZI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,855,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Reading the first 7 chapters in this book was painful. It explains how Governor Granholm took office full of optimism about what she would accomplish only to find that events would unfold almost daily keeping her in survival mode. However, from chapter 8 on, one sees the many ways that stimulus did help, and could have helped even more if it had been bigger. She makes a cogent case for more government involvement, not less, and details her own activities at attracting business to Michigan....... and not by busting unions. There are 2 unfortunate epilogues. One is that clearly the citizens of the state are woefully uninformed (they should read the book) since they elected a Republican as her successor. The second is that Governor Granholm is currently out of government service, where she is so badly needed.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excerpt from a more comprenhensive review which can be read at [...].

"A Governor's Story" is a first-person account told in Granholm's voice. However, as is made clear from the start, it is a collaborative effort between her and Mulhern. The book tells four different stories. First, it is a history lesson about the impact on Michigan of the Great Recession of this decade, a state with seven times more manufacturing jobs per capita than any other state.

Second, it is a behind-the-scenes look at how states are run at the highest level. It shows the tightrope walking that must be done, the non-stop compromising, cajoling and effort that it takes to get things done, particularly during the time when Granholm was governor and the state legislature was either partially or entirely controlled by Republicans.

Third, it is an important textbook describing the successes and failures Michigan experienced as it dealt with the economic collapse -- including an entire chapter devoted to outlining concrete things that can be done at the federal level to help our country out of the recession, all based on lessons painfully learned in Michigan.

Finally, it is a love story between Jennifer Granholm and Dan Mulhern. Few married couples deal with the types of challenges these two did and come out of it on the other end clearly still a dynamic and loving team.

The parallels between Jennifer Granholm's time in office and what Barack Obama is confronting in his first term as president are unmistakable. Both came to office facing frightening economic challenges but with bold ideas for change. Both faced stiff headwinds from ideologically-motivated opponents intent on thwarting everything they attempted.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From time to time a person who is blessed with intelligence, integrity and the intestinal fortitude to fight the big fight will enter American politics. Jennifer Granholm surfaced in during one of the most difficult periods of that state's history. Now,several years later that state can be showcased for the long-term planning of Governor Granholm. Any person who has an opportunity to hear her speak should not let that chance get away. She has the ability to raise the bar in American politics,as any of her students will attest.
Ralph Spinelli
author of
Prison as Punishment
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How quickly we forget just how bad it was, and how uncertain any type of recovery looked as things continued to slide. This book provides a fairly good retelling of the desperate situation Michigan was in. I heard a prior Governor of North Carolina speak about during his childhood Detroit was the American city and he wondered back then if his own state would ever have such a great city.
Ms Granholm makes a very good argument about the positive role of government and the limits to the endless lower taxes argument. She also has some very good facts about the value of serious government investment in education.
Not being from Michigan I do not have a feel for whether any of the long line of programs she started had any impact on the states economy.
Overall I enjoyed the book and learned something.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having worked for the State of Michigan unit that supplied some of the data referenced in this book (WARN and other layoff activity), I can attest that that part of it is accurate from personal knowledge. One caveat: When Gov. Granholm mentions having received 55 WARN notices in a single month, the text should read '55 layoff notices of all kinds, WARNs included.' That is a fairly small quibble, however, in what is overall an accurate and realistic recounting of Michigan's economic travails during that time. While I do not necessarily agree with Gov. Granholm's policy agenda (and many of the 'green jobs' that were fostered under her watch became the subject of layoff notices later on when the subsidies that helped launch the companies in question ended), her sincerity and attention to historical fact recommend this book to both the casual reader as well as the student of 'the Great Recession' of 2007-9 and its' impact on Michigan, especially, and on the automotive industry that continues to be the heart of Michigan's economy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Governor Granholm has been criticized a lot for events beyond her control. She just happened to be in office during a very bad time in Michigan's history. She understands economics. One of my favorite statements in the book is that this downturn (not only in Michigan but in the entire U.S.) is structural, not cyclical. That simple fact is a good indication of what she understands, and what so many policians and other talking heads do not. In addition to the fact that the substance of the book is good, it's an enjoyable read.
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