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, former 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.
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.
"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
"A revealing portrait of the people and events surrounding Harris’s rise to political stardom." –New York Times Book Review
"The author... shares stories of the Harris that exists when the cameras are gone, and does it in a way that's not sensational or tabloid-ish. Instead, it's thorough, honest and a quick-to-read education about our new second in command, so if you think you don't know enough about her, add it to your must-read pile, because Kamala's Way is a great next step.” – Miami Times
"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)
"Thisis a brisk and evenhanded account of Harris’s trailblazing career." – Publisher's Weekly
“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