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Kamala's Way

An American Life

Dan Morain


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Other Editions of This Title:
Library Binding, Large Print (5/26/2021)


A revelatory biography of the first Black woman to stand for Vice President, charting how the daughter of two immigrants in segregated California became one of this country’s most effective power players.

There’s very little that’s conventional about Kamala Harris, and yet her personal story also represents the best of America. She grew up the eldest daughter of a single mother, a no-nonsense cancer researcher who emigrated from India at the age of nineteen in search of a better education. She and her husband, an accomplished economist from Jamaica, split up when Kamala was only five.

The Kamala Harris the public knows today is tough, smart, quick-witted, and demanding. She’s a prosecutor—her one-liners are legendary—but she’s more reticent when it comes to sharing much about herself, even in her memoirs. Fortunately, longtime Los Angeles Times reporter Dan Morain has been there from the start.

In Kamala’s Way, he charts her career from its beginnings handling child molestation cases and homicides for the Alameda County District Attorney’s office and her relationship as a twenty-nine-year-old with the most powerful man in the state: married Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, a relationship that would prove life-changing. Morain takes readers through Harris’s years in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, explores her audacious embrace of the little-known Barack Obama, and shows the sharp elbows she deployed to make it to the US Senate. He analyzes her failure as a presidential candidate and the behind-the-scenes campaign she waged to land the Vice President spot. Along the way, he paints a vivid picture of her values and priorities, the kind of people she brings into her orbit, the sorts of problems she’s good at solving, and the missteps, risks, and bold moves she’s made on her way to the top.

Kamala’s Way is essential reading for all Americans curious about the woman standing by Joe Biden’s side.

Praise For Kamala's Way: An American Life

"Detailed and dutiful...Ms. Harris—as is her prerogative—omitted much detail from her own autobiography. Mr. Morain has filled in many of those blanks." The Wall Street Journal

"An essential road map to understand the life and groundbreaking political journey of the former California prosecutor who next week will become the country’s first female vice president." Politico

"Morain brings deep familiarity with California politics to an admiring, yet balanced, biography of Harris... A brisk, well-informed narrative of political ascendancy." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Morain’s deep-rooted reporting experience covering California politics is evident on every page… This is a great read for anyone interested in a richly contextualized account of Harris' political evolution.” Booklist

Simon & Schuster, 9781982175764, 272pp.

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

About the Author

Dan Morain has covered California policy, politics, and justice-related issues for more than four decades, including twenty-seven years at the Los Angeles Times and eight at The Sacramento Bee, where he was editorial page editor.