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A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future Hardcover – Sep 20 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (Sept. 20 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586489976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586489977
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #840,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Governor Jennifer Granholm faced extraordinary challenges with grace, intelligence, and tenacity. In a weak economy, no state was hit harder than hers. She embraced the challenge of rebuilding Michigan’s economy for the 21st Century with new ideas, new jobs, and new businesses. In 2011, Michigan had the largest drop in unemployment in the U.S., thanks in large measure to her tireless effort. A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future is a remarkable narrative. Everyone who wants to revive the American economy and restore the American dream should read it.” —President Bill Clinton

“Jennifer Granholm spent eight years fighting for Michigan, and now the rest of the nation can benefit from the hard lessons she and her team learned as they positioned Michigan for recovery. A Governor’s Story offers a dramatic inside political story and an urgent call to recognize that our industry is competing not just with foreign companies but with the governments supporting them. It also offers a candid and moving personal story of a governor who is forced to devote her ‘all’ to turn around her state’s seemingly unyielding bad economy, with the resulting family pressures she faced as a loving wife and mother.” —U.S. Senator Carl Levin

“During her tenure as governor, Jennifer Granholm had to grapple with unprecedented economic crises that foreshadowed what other leaders around the world would eventually experience. A Governor’s Story is one leader’s recounting of what it’s like and what it takes to lead in the crucible of challenge and change. It is an engagingly personal, absolutely riveting, and completely honest story. As you walk in Jennifer Granholm’s shoes through the pages of this gripping narrative, you understand more fully the resilience, optimism, and grit it takes to lead in challenging times. Every executive, every politician, every student of leadership, and every citizen needs to read this book. There is hope here. A Governor’s Story gets my vote for the best leadership book of the year.” —Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge and Credibility

“Governor Granholm is a passionate voice for manufacturing in America. During her time in office, she consistently put manufacturing front and center because it is so essential to the state's and the nation's economic vitality.” —Alan Mulally, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company

“Governor Granholm has governed during some of the toughest times I can remember in Michigan and has never wavered in her commitment and love for our state. From wind and solar energy to advanced batteries, she has championed the development of clean energy in Michigan and laid the groundwork for Michigan”s economic recovery and world-wide leadership in alternative energy.  She has been a strong partner with me in the fight to save our auto industry and American manufacturing.” —Senator Debbie Stabenow

“Now is the time to create the jobs of the future by growing industries, including a new clean energy economy.  And Jennifer Granholm has been all on top of this as the governor of Michigan. . . .  I want to applaud Governor Granholm…. The rest of the country should learn from the effort.” —President Barack Obama

“Jennifer Granholm … is the genuine article. She’s proved her mettle as governor on tough terrain.” —Senator John Kerry

About the Author

Jennifer Granholm was elected governor of Michigan in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, grew up in California, and is an honors graduate of both the University of California at Berkeley, where she now teaches in the law and public policy schools, and Harvard Law School. She is a senior advisor to the Pew Charitable Trusts Clean Energy Program, a contributor to Meet the Press, and a regular guest on other national news programs.

Dan Mulhern is an honors graduate of both Yale University and Harvard Law School, teaches at the business and law schools at the University of California at Berkeley, and is an advisor to the Families and Work Institute. He is an author, talk show host, public speaker, and expert in leadership development and the changing roles of men and women. He is married to Jennifer Granholm.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa2050450) out of 5 stars 48 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b7c5ac) out of 5 stars This book shows how hard it is to be a politician who cares. Nov. 20 2011
By Allen Weitsman - Published on
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.
40 of 56 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa228a4a4) out of 5 stars An important book and a significant contribution to the national dialog Sept. 20 2011
By Eclectablog - Published on
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. Both are, frankly, blamed for things that were beyond their control. As Granholm and Mulhern exit stage left, they are leaving us with a thoughtful, well-informed and honest account of what went right, what went wrong and what lessons we can learn from Michigan, a state Granholm called a "laboratory of democracy" in a New York Times interview this week. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal or independent, "A Governor's Story" teaches important lessons. Let's hope our leaders are willing to learn from them.
HASH(0xa295ab34) out of 5 stars How quickly we forget Nov. 9 2013
By Dean R. Peterson - Published on
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.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3205608) out of 5 stars A good recent history of Michigan and its economy Nov. 27 2011
By Ascender - Published on
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.
HASH(0xa1e24c60) out of 5 stars Gov. Granholm does MI proud Jan. 21 2014
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed read this book about Gov. Granholm's time as governor of Michigan. Having lived through her entire tenure as Gov. & voting for her re-election, I can remember how tough the times really were & how bad things got in Michigan. I always thought that she did a great job with the hand she got dealt.