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A LA Times Bestseller"... A] compelling history of our city's last half century, as conveyed through the life of one of our most impactful leaders. ..."
-- Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass
This is the story of Zev Yaroslavsky, the son of Ukrainian Jews who immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s. His memoir charts the journey of a young social activist who battled to free Soviet Jews before becoming one of the most consequential elected officials in Southern California. Fiercely independent, he combined an activist's passion with a seasoned politician's skill to challenge the region's power brokers. He fought the Los Angeles Police Department's excessive force and political spying policies, led the effort to ban local taxes from funding the 1984 Olympics, teamed with President Clinton to avert a catastrophic county bankruptcy, helped develop L.A.'s modern transit system, won a bruising battle with real estate interests to save the Santa Monica Mountains from rapacious development, and was pivotal in the development of Walt Disney Concert Hall and the modernization of the iconic Hollywood Bowl. "I may be part of the establishment," he said on the day he was first sworn into office, "but the establishment is not part of me."
About the Author
In a Los Angeles political career spanning four decades (City Council 1975-1994, County Board of Supervisors 1994-2014), Zev Yaroslavsky played a central role in shaping America's largest metropolis. Health care, transportation, arts and culture, the environment, and fiscal policy were his domain. He received an MA in History and a BA in Economics and History, both from UCLA, where he currently teaches Public Policy and History.A career journalist, Josh Getlin covered politics in Los Angeles and Washington, DC for the Los Angeles Times and was the paper's New York Bureau Chief from 2001-2008. He received an MS from the Columbia University School of Journalism and a BA in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.