Larry Gerston

Larry Gerston EXPERTISE:
Public policy, Civic Engagement, and State and U.S. Politics

San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0119

Friday 12:30pm - 1:30pm in-person

Ph.D. University of California, Davis, 1975

Professor Emeritus Larry Gerston examines public policy making at the national and state levels of government.  His Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society: A Guide to Civic Engagement has been praised for its approach to "hands on" citizen participation.  Gerston’s Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California, addresses the uniqueness of California.  His twelfth academic book, Reviving Citizenship Engagement: Policies to Renew National Community, argues that without substantive political, economic, and social changes, the United States will become a second-class nation.  The fifteenth edition of his California Politics and Government: A Practical Approach (with Mary Currin-Percival, Garrick Percival and Terry Christensen) was published in January 2021.

Professor Gerston is also an award-winning children’s book author.  His first book, The Road to Hana, extolls the journey over the destination.  Wendell the Working Worm focuses on self-esteem.  His third book, Spencer Spider Just Wants Friends (2019), deals with discrimination.  His latest children’s book, Spencer Spider Meets a Bully, was published in November 2020.

Larry Gerston appears twice weekly as the political analyst at NBC Bay Area television and speaks weekly on radio station KCBS.  He has been interviewed on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, BBC, CNBC, NPR, CNN’s Inside Politics, and Time magazine.  Professor Gerston has written more than 150 op-ed articles and has been quoted in virtually every nationally significant newspaper. 

A sought-after motivational speaker, Professor Gerston speaks several times each year on civic engagement and political empowerment.  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.  His Twitter handle is @lgerston.