Ella Grasso: Connecticut's Pioneering Governor

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Wesleyan University Press, Nov 13, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
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When Ella Tambussi Grasso ran for governor of Connecticut in 1974, she had not lost an election since she was first voted into the state’s General Assembly in 1952. The people of Connecticut chose her as the nation’s first woman to be elected governor in her own right—the capstone of a long and successful career dedicated to public service, effective government, and the democratic process. During her tenure as governor, Grasso’s leadership was tested in the face of fiscal problems, state layoffs, and budget shortfalls. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she endeared herself to her constituents during the great Blizzard of 1978, when she stayed at the State Armory around the clock to direct emergency operations and make frequent television appearances. Author Jon E. Purmont, who served as Grasso’s executive assistant when she was governor, draws on his diary from that time, research in Grasso’s archives, and interviews with Grasso’s family and friends to give us a rich and intimate portrait of this political pioneer.
 

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Contents

1 Child of TwentiethCentury Pilgrims
1
2 One of the Countrys Most Wonderful Women
17
3 The Whole Day a Rosy Glow
30
4 Involved in the Making of a Government
51
5 Working in the Vineyards
69
6 I Can Be a Gadfly Here
93
7 I Believe Working for People Is the Noblest Profession
130
Illustrations
140
8 The Daughter of a Tortonese Governs Connecticut
158
9 I Love You I Love You All
181
Epilogue
222
Notes
225
Index
255
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About the author (2012)

JON E. PURMONT is an emeritus professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University. His articles have appeared in Connecticut Review and Connecticut Explored, and he is coauthor of A Concise History of the United States.

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