The Deeper the Roots: A Memoir of Hope and Home

Michael Tubbs. Flatiron/Oprah, $27.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-17344-7
Tubbs recounts how he fought “against the soft bigotry of low expectations” to become the first Black mayor of Stockton, Calif., in his clear-eyed debut. Within this personal story is a love letter to his hometown of Stockton and to the strong women in his family that raised him, while his father was in prison, to believe that “things that were tough about our lives were reasons... to prove Them wrong.” Throughout, Tubbs’s outsize natural charisma, generosity, and academic prowess mark each story, including one about winning a high-school essay contest hosted by Alice Walker, who taught him that “life is not a sob story, but a survivor’s tale.” Even as he attended Stanford University and interned at the White House, he returned home often to assist other students burdened by poverty. In 2016, after serving for four years on Stockton’s city council, he was elected mayor at age 26. Beyond being overwhelmingly inspiring, Tubbs’s story is written with a deep sincerity, especially when recalling more painful moments, such as his 2014 arrest for a DUI, which “fulfill[ed] the grim prophecy... that I would end up arrested and in jail one day.” This is an inspiring look at what it means to serve a community from a young political mind on the rise. Agent: Betsy Lerner, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/12/2021
Release date: 11/16/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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