Larry Gerston

Larry Gerston Professor, Emeritus
Ph.D. University of California, Davis, 1975

Office: Clark Hall 404M
Office Hours:
Not teaching courses Spring 2020 semester

Office Phone: (408) 924-5580

Dr. Larry Gerston specializes on the U.S. public policy process at the national and state levels.  He has written twelve books, focusing on a “hands on,” user-friendly approach to politics and government.

Gerston’s most recent book, Reviving Citizen Engagement: Policies to Renew National Community (Taylor & Francis, publisher) examines the loss of political attachment in the United States, explains the costs to society, and offers solutions for making America whole again.

Among his other books at the national level, Gerston has penned Confronting Reality: Ten Issues Threatening American Society and How We Can Fix It (2009) and American Federalism: A Concise Introduction (2007).  His Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society: A Guide to Civic Engagement (second edition, 2008) has been heralded as a breakthrough in hands on/service learning partnerships and referenced in several developing democracies.

With respect to California, Gerston has written Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California (2012), which explores California politics in the context of a complicated, contentious socio-economic environment.  His California Politics and Government: A Practical Approach (with Terry Christensen), is now in its thirteenth edition (2015) and the best-selling text in its category.  Previously, Gerston and Christensen teamed up to write other books, including Recall! California’s Political Earthquake, winner of the prestigious CHOICE award.

Along with his academic responsibilities, Gerston appears each week as the political analyst at NBC Bay Area (the NBC television station in northern California).  He has also appeared on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CNN, PBS, and BBC.  More than 125 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 on empowerment, citizen engagement, American elections, contemporary policy issues, and related topics.  He has the 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.  His Twitter handle is @lgerston.