Standing at the Water's Edge: Bob Straub's Battle for the Soul of Oregon

Standing at the Water's Edge: Bob Straub's Battle for the Soul of Oregon

by Charles K. Johnson


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Standing at the Water's Edge: Bob Straub's Battle for the Soul of Oregon by Charles K. Johnson

Standing at the Water’s Edge chronicles the life of a unique, and perhaps unlikely, political figure in Oregon’s history: former Governor Robert W. Straub.

A man of intelligence, drive, creativity, and fascinating contradictions, Straub overcame personal challenges and inevitable comparisons to his charismatic predecessor and friendly Republican rival, Tom McCall, to have a lasting impact on Oregon and the nation. Charles Johnson shares insights into Straub’s significant legacy, focusing on his leading role in the state’s financial and environmental issues and his influence on McCall. Johnson also reveals much of Straub’s warm personal story, along with his secret struggles, including his battle with depression while Governor.

Standing at the Water’s Edge offers rich descriptions of other intriguing political figures of the time as well, capturing the flavor of what has been called Oregon’s political “golden age” of the sixties and seventies—created in part by the symbiotic relationship between Straub and McCall—and describing how and why it ended.

Standing at the Water’s Edge is an essential addition to the literature about Oregon’s political leaders for historians, political scientists, and general readers interested in Oregon history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870716690
Publisher: Oregon State University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2012
Edition description: 1
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Charles K. Johnson is a Portland writer, fundraiser, and activist. A native Oregonian, he has been active in environmental politics since childhood. After a decade in national politics, working with Physicians for Social Responsibility and as Executive Director of Nuclear Free America, Johnson returned to Oregon, where he was instrumental in making a home for the Robert W. Straub Archives at Western Oregon University’s Hamersly Library.

Table of Contents

Foreword Governor Victor G. Atiyeh x

Introduction xii

Chapter 1 Lessons of the Prune Orchard 1

Chapter 2 The Road Less Traveled 17

Chapter 3 Answering the Call 36

Chapter 4 Jumping in with Both Feet 55

Chapter 5 Get Our Money Out of the Mattress 76

Chapter 6 Nature's Warrior 95

Chapter 7 From State Street to Wall Street 108

Chapter 8 A Line in the Sand 120

Chapter 9 From Backwater to Vortex 145

Chapter 10 A Darkened Victory 167

Chapter 11 Utopian Dreams, Economic Realities 194

Chapter 12 Fighting Against the Tide 220

Chapter 13 A Graceful Departure 254

Chapter 14 The Arc of Bob Straub's Life 277

Epilogue Mark Henkels 284

Notes 291

Acknowledgments 329

Index 332

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