Earl Warren, A Great American Story

By Irving Stone

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Book details

Hardcover, 176 pages
1948 by Prentice Hall
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In 1938, when Earl Warren entered his name in the election for California attorney general, he filed in three parties: Republican, Democratic, and Progressive. To file meant he had to have petitions signed by the requisite number of voters of each party. Same in 1942 when he entered the election for California governor. Seems this was standard practice in California.

The description of the transition from Democratic governor Olson to Republican governor Warren has parallels to the transition from Republic president Trump to Democratic president Biden: from adversarial, fractious, mean, corrupt, and angry to collegial, friendly, respectful, ethical, and thoughtful.

There was a bi- (or tri-) partisanship about Warren. He's a Republican like Dwight Eisenhower, Mark Hatfield, Bob Packwood, Tom McCall: conservative yet sensible. These men would be cast out of the Republican Party today.

I knew little about Earl Warren other than the "Warren Court" sort of thing. Knew he had been governor; did not realize he was Thomas Dewey's running mate in 1948, when the book was written (and the election had not yet occurred). I have had this old book on my shelf for at least 30 years for two reasons: it was about Warren, which interested me, and it was written by Irving Stone, which seemed odd and intriguing. Finally it was time to read it.

It reads as if Stone was a good friend of Earl Warren and was writing a campaign ad. I am left wanting to know more about Warren, more than just all the "good" parts. Stone's depiction makes Warren sound flawless. Plus, now I want to know what happens to Warren after he was governor of California and a vice presidential candidate.

There is a good chapter at the end about what an "assistant president" might look like. Another good topic for further study.