Ella Grasso: Connecticut’s Pioneering Governor

Jon E. Purmont. Wesleyan Univ., $28.95 (286p) ISBN 978-0-8195-7343-8
Ella Grasso (1919–1981), the first woman elected governor of a state without succeeding her husband, played key roles in Connecticut Democratic politics during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. Those decades saw emerging consumer protection laws, greater government transparency, the Vietnam War, and the rise of feminism. In 1978, at the beginning of her second term as governor, Grasso invited Purmont to serve as her executive assistant and “observe the pageantry.” Now professor emeritus of history at Southern Connecticut State University, Purmont attempts to reveal how Grasso achieved all she did, but falls far short of his goal. He offers little more than adulation in his repetitive narration of each phase of Grasso’s life, with only occasional mention of any warts, such as her “stormy” interpersonal interactions. Moreover, passing references to the way party politics changed during her time as governor leave the reader wanting to know more about the underlying nature of different aspects of her life. Readers hoping to get an inside story about a political pioneer will be disappointed in Purmont’s account. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-8195-7344-5
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