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Matt BaiBasic Brown: My Life and Our Times is less Brown's memoir than a West Coast version of Machiavelli's Prince, a seminar for young politicians by a master of the craft…in this charming memoir by a charming man, exaggeration is part of the fun. The book roughly approximates the experience of sitting across from Willie Brown over a long breakfast, refilling one's coffee as he works his way through the tall tales and tangents that made him one of the great machinators of his age. Like the man himself, Brown's version of the political memoir is always engaging, sometimes confounding and never the least bit slow.
—The New York Times