Cover image for Storming the statehouse : running for governor with Ann Richards and Dianne Feinstein
Storming the statehouse : running for governor with Ann Richards and Dianne Feinstein
Morris, Celia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner's Sons ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : M. Macmillan International, [1992]

Physical Description:
viii, 323 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F391.4.R53 M67 1992 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F391.4.R53 M67 1992 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



On the campaigns of the two women for the governor's mansion in Texas and California, their style, and the results. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Morris takes readers on the campaign trails of two seemingly contrasting yet similar women, both 58-year-old Democrats and seasoned politicians, who met with quite different results in their respective 1990 runs for governor of two of the nation's largest and most politically influential states. We learn firsthand how and why Ann Richards, a small-town woman with loads of charisma, won the Texas gubernatorial race and, by contrast, how her better-financed and -strategized counterpart, former San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein, lost her bid for governor of California. Morris holds readers' interest with her alternating focus on personality and strategy. She offers a well-balanced view of both Richards and Feinstein, tracing their personal and political development over the years. But what makes this book a real winner is its skill at analyzing the specifics of the election process and how that process cost or carried the election of two very prominent and equally deserving candidates. Morris' previous work was the biography Fanny Wright: Rebel in America. ~--Mary Banas

Publisher's Weekly Review

Advocacy journalism written with a feminist slant, this is a powerful, knowing, instructive, ingratiating recreation, as Morris ( Fanny Wright ), taking to the 1990 gubernatorial campaign trails in Texas and California, introduces us to two inspiring women and bruising politics. Ann Richards proved to be a winner not only with the Texas electorate but with the author as well. The former state treasurer captured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination from Jim Mattox, state attorney general, then narrowly defeated Republican contender Clayton Williams in a vituperative race made even sleazier by the good ol' boy millionaire rancher's assertions that his opponent--a member of AA and divorced mother of four--was a drug addict and lesbian. By comparison, San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein's unsuccessful (by 300,000 votes) gubernatorial race against Republican Pete Wilson, U.S. senator, after she bested state attorney general John Van de Kamp in the Democratic primary, was politics as usual. Morris is hard put to make the admirable Feinstein as appealing as Richards, resulting in the book's less vivid second half. Still, so fully are readers caught up in the excitement, uncertainties and manipulations of the political process that they will be held fast. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In 1990, two of the most important and exciting gubenatorial races were dominated by two very different women. Ann Richards was a down-home Texas native whose sharp wit won her national prominence at the 1988 Democratic convention when she described George Bush as being born with a silver foot in his mouth. Coming from a wealthy San Francisco family, Dianne Feinstein became the city's first woman mayor after the assassination of George Moscone. Yet both women shared a great deal in common because they were ``women breaking barriers in a world designed and ruled by men.'' Morris ( Fanny Wright: Rebel in America , Harvard Univ. Pr., 1984) brings a feminist perspective to this fascinating study of why Richards triumphed over Clayton Williams in the maelstrom of ``macho'' Texas politics while Feinstein, virtually indistinguishable from her Republican opponent, lost in California. Although Morris tries to give fair coverage to both candidates, the section on Richards, like Ann herself, is far more vivid and colorful than her chapters on Feinstein. Still, this inside look at women in politics is highly recommended for all collections. Previewed in ``On the Campaign Book Trail,'' LJ 3/15/92.--Ed.-- Wilda Williams, ``Library Journal'' (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The gubernatorial campaigns of Richards (Texas) and Feinstein (California) rank among the most conspicuous and fascinating races involving women candidates to date. This book is based primarily on interviews with campaign participants. Both campaigns were costly, close, and depended on coalitional support of women and people of color. The author compares and contrasts the two campaigns, including the factors influencing the outcome of each. However, much of the book consists of generally rich and thorough case studies of the two campaigns, with particular attention paid to the candidates' characters and personalities. While the book offers insights about the barriers encountered by women in politics, Morris does not explicitly bring into her analysis much of the scholarly work on voting behavior or women's role in politics. Nonetheless, her book is savvy and does provide some useful insights into the organization and management of statewide campaigns. It is an appropriate acquisition for undergraduate libraries and will serve as a useful resource for students writing research papers on women in state politics. Recommended for undergraduate libraries and general readers. M. Hendrickson; Wilson College