cover image Dianne Feinstein: Never Let Them See You Cry

Dianne Feinstein: Never Let Them See You Cry

Jerry Roberts. HarperCollins Publishers, $20 (294pp) ISBN 978-0-06-258508-0

Twice defeated in mayoral races, Feinstein became acting mayor of San Francisco in 1978 when George Moscone was assassinated, and was later sworn in as the city's first elected female mayor. Feinstein, ``a thrice-married Jewish woman from the kook capital of America,'' came close to being picked as Walter Mondale's running mate in the 1984 presidential election. In 1990, she became the first woman to win the gubernatorial nomination of a major party in California. Roberts's penetrating biography reveals Feinstein as a pragmatic, aggressive politician full of intriguing contradictions: a trailblazer for women but often at odds with feminists; ambitious but lacking in confidence at crucial moments in her career; cheerful and upbeat but lacking in humor and a sense of irony. Roberts, political editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, has covered Feinstein for nearly 20 years. Here he recounts her difficult childhood and her evolution from an aloof, calculating local appointee to the warmly engaging, highly visible leader on the national scene. Photos. $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Sept.)