Ph.D. University of California, Davis, 1975
Office Hours: MW 6:45am-7:25am and 10:30am-11:45am Office: Clark Hall 451
Dr. Larry Gerston specializes on the public policy process at the national and state
levels. He has written eleven books, focusing on a “hands on,” user-friendly approach
Gerston's most recent book, Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California (Taylor and Francis, publisher), assesses California's politics in the context of a complicated, contentious socio-economic environment.
Among his other books about California, Gerston has written California Politics and Government: A Practical Approach (with Terry Christensen), now in its twelfth edition (2011) and the best-selling text in its category. Previously, Gerston and Christensen teamed up to write Recall! California's Political Earthquake (2004), winner of the prestigious CHOICE award.
At the national level, Gerston has written Confronting Reality: Ten Issues Threatening to Implode American Society (And How We Can Fix It), published in 2009. American Federalism: A Concise Introduction (2007) examines the unique relationship between national and state governments in their historical and modern contexts as well as in their policy making capabilities. Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society: A Guide to Civic Engagement (2nd edition, 2008) has been heralded as a breakthrough in “hands on”/service learning partnerships and referenced in several developing democracies.
Along with his academic responsibilities, Professor Gerston appears regularly as the political analyst at NBC Bay Area (the NBC television in northern California). He has also appeared on NBC Nightly News, CNN, PBS, and BBC. More than 100 of his op-ed columns have been published in leading newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times.
A sought-after motivational speaker, Larry Gerston speaks several times each year on empowerment, political engagement, policy issues, and related topics. He has a unique ability to passionately put complex issues into an understandable perspective.
When not teaching or writing, Professor Gerston consults in media training, crisis management, and strategic thinking.