It has been seventeen years since the publication of George Mowry's pioneer study The California Progressives. In that excellent work Mowry was primarily concerned with the California Progressive movement as a social phenomenon, asking such questions as: Who were the Progressives? What motivated them? What were they trying to accomplish? He also hoped to cast light upon the nature of national progressivism and recent American "liberalism."
Similar questions are asked in this study, but the approach is somewhat different. Here primary concern is with practice rather than ideology. The major focus is on the impressive gubernatorial administration of Hiram W. Johnson, and on Johnson's role as a popular and extremely effective reform governor. This study is not a comprehensive personal biography of Hiram Johnson, for the available source materials preclude such an effort. Nor is it a total reevaluation of Mowry's book, although it utilizes manuscript collections unavailable seventeen years ago (in-