Chestertown, MD — Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House will host "Reporting on Governor Schwarzenegger," a talk by Los Angeles Times reporter Joe Mathews, author ofThe People's Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy, on Monday, February 18, at 4:30 p.m.
Publisher's Weekly hailed The People's Machine as "an exciting jaunt into the la-la land of big-state direct democracy." The book is an incisive account of Governor Schwarzenegger and his tenure in California politics, by the political reporter whose unique access and insight into "Ah-nuld" led to newsbreaking revelations.
California voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978. At the same time, a champion bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger was becoming a movie star. Over the past quarter-century, the twin arts of direct democracy (through ballot initiatives designed to push the public to the polls on election day) and blockbuster moviemaking (through movies designed to push the public to the theaters on opening weekend) grew up together, at home in California. With the state's recall election in 2003, direct democracy and blockbuster movies officially merged. The result: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In The People's Machine, Joe Mathews, who covered Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign for the Los Angeles Times and who has subsequently broken many front-page stories about him, traces the roots of both movie and political populism, how Schwarzenegger used these twin forces to win election and, especially, how he has used them to govern.
Mathews, a fourth-generation Californian, graduated from Harvard College and worked at theBaltimore Sun and Wall Street Journal before joining the Times. When The People's Machinewas published in 2006 by PublicAffairs, Booklist enthused, "Mathews delivers a completely engrossing look at Schwarzenegger's long and calculated strategy to run for political office...a thoroughly fascinating book."
Admission to "Reporting on Governor Schwarzenegger" is free and open to the public.
February 6, 2008