Author : Alvin S. Felzenberg
Description:Over a long and successful career in politics, Tom Kean has shown himself a highly successful political leader. Through his ability to work with the opposition party while retaining the loyalty of his own, Kean was able to achieve extraordinary results in multiple roles. From his election to the New Jersey state assembly in 1967 through his guidance of the 911 Commission more than three decades later, Kean has displayed political dexterity as well as an uncanny knack for bipartisan leadership at times of deep partisan divisions. In this first political biography of one of the nations most popular and successful governors, Alvin S. Felzenberg tells the story of a remarkable career that culminated in an unexpected and crucial contribution to the countrychairmanship of the 911 Commission. Felzenberg describes how, early in his political career, Kean worked to transform New Jerseys legislature in the aftermath of court rulings that mandated redistricting in accordance with the ''one man, one vote'' principle. He relates how Kean was able to use the New Jersey governorshippurportedly the strongest in the countryto transform a so-called ''rust belt'' state into a leader in education, environmental responsibility, and economic growth. Keans story serves as an uncommon case of how a Republican loyal to the historic roots and principles of his party can not only win election in a ''blue state'' but also effectively govern it. Drawing on interviews with Kean as well as with state and national leaders, including former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton and former New York City mayor Ed Koch, Felzenberg provides a marvelous biography and a unique look at American politics during the last four decades of the twentieth century.