Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is the first Jewish and second Mexican-American mayor of LA, a majority-minority city. He has earned his reputation as “an elected official who governs successfully amid massive diversity,” says Ezra Klein on this week’s podcast, and is publicly considering a 2020 presidential run.
On this episode of The Ezra Klein Show, Garcetti discussed his relationship with identity politics, why he believes in promoting “belonging” over tolerance, and why Washington needs more mayors. His book recommendations are both inspiring and appropriate for someone likely gearing up for a national campaign:
1) Stone, Paper, Knife by Marge Piercy
Over the course of the conversation, Garcetti’s optimism when it comes to our shared humanity is brought up several times. He recommends feminist activist and poet Marge Piercey’s collection Stone, Paper, Knife, because it “speaks to the never-dying idealism of how we find the biggest things in our brothers and sisters.”
2) Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
Garcetti is a busy man, which is why a collection of short stories like Jorge Luis Borges’s Ficciones holds his attention better than a novel. The stories in Ficciones, he says, reflect “the randomness of the universe and how so much depends on luck and the fantastical.”
3) What It Takes: The Way to the White House by Richard Ben Cramer
What It Takes has been recommended a few times by Ezra Klein Show guests, most recently by New York Times reporter Amy Chozick. It’s unsurprising that “the great classic of running for president” would be relevant to someone considering what it might take to get the White House himself.
You can listen to the full conversation with Eric Garcetti on The Ezra Klein Show by subscribing on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts, or by streaming the episode here: