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Jonathan Brown

Writer - Consultant


New Release

Of Course is True
(Except for a Couple of Lies)

This book is a collection of stories on family, life and values. It includes a bit of genealogy, some philosophy, and a touch of mostly historical politics.

It is a look at a life full of experiences, some important and some not, while comfortably wrapped in humor.

Eclectic? You bet. Boring, no.

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Also Available on Apple Books


I have known Jonathan Brown, professionally and personally, for more than thirty years, first in Washington DC and then when he moved to Sacramento and worked in the legislative/state policy arena and in the private university world. He is without question one of the smartest and most interesting people I have ever had the good luck to call a friend. When he told me he was writing a memoir I was eager to see the results and read it. I am pleased to report that it’s an interesting and arresting book. And if the title itself doesn’t catch your eye, then I can’t help you.

There’s a bit of everything in it. It begins with an ancestor for whom he was named, who came west for the gold rush, like so many other young men. Other forbears are also mentioned, and their exploits chronicled. I wish that I had the detail on my great and great great grandparents that Jonathon has excavated and included in the book.

The second part is a more modern focus, this time on his life in Washington and mostly California. Jonathan did not do things in a small way. Years ago, when running became fashionable, although not by nature a skilled athlete he took up the sport. He quickly progressed from neighborhood 10K races to 50-mile ones. This is not an achievement available without a significant time and mental fiber commitment, but he did well in this highly challenging subset of the running world. In so doing, he also contributed to keeping Nike going as a profitable concern.

Finally, he draws on his life in politics and, well, in life to offer some interesting conclusions about our society and its traits, trends, values, and peculiarities. His conclusions about the wisdom of markets vs bureaucrats seem especially on point to me, as I have been both. He also cleverly notes that the “glass half full or glass half empty” question is not the appropriate interrogatory to ask. Given his belief in the adaptability of humans, he argues persuasively that the glass is refillable. Darn, I wish I had thought to say that.

I recommend this book strongly, as it is well written, thoughtful, and funny. You will learn things that you never thought would interest you, but in Jonathan’s capable hands they do indeed..

Robert Hemphill - Author

Praise & Reviews

This is a comfotable read, especially considering the myriad of deep thinking reference background that is woven in. The author traces his interesting ancestry, combines years of practical experience in government, economics, higher education and the school of practical experience. He raises extremely pertinent issues, most current, but with a nod to history and the interesting experiences he has had in life. Perspective on religion, "crowd" influences, "expert" advice, social media, the free market and individual freedoms are core, but so are his succint explanations as to why he holds the values he does. He doesn't gloss over sharing with the reader why he has reached the conclusions in life he presents.

Anyone who is questioning "where we are" and "where we are headed" should take the time to read this book. If you're a pessimist about where the world is today, you aren't alone, but give the author's perspective a chance to at least give you a glimmer of hope, and understanding, while not sugar coating the challenges of our times. If you're like me, you'll find you underlined several passages, or made a lot of margin notes if you buy the hard copy!

Sacto Review

This book has three staves or sections - a set of stories about family; a section on adventures in life and then one on values.

In total they tell a story of optimism about the human spirit but also offer a lot of unconventional thinking.

When I told the author I'd bought the book he said two things - first write a review and second tell me the first page where is beliefs and mine are different - he really enjoys the dialogue and so will you.

A Reader from Piedmont


Early in the firm’s history I was engaged to work with a small Christian University to restructure, eventually resulting in an acquisition by another University. The transaction required both financial restructuring as well as attention to accreditation issues.

BC was engaged to help a developer in the Sacramento area identify a college or university that would accept a gift of land on a larger development project. The task started with assisting the team in working through the entitlement issues with the County and then in identifying a wide range of possible university partners in the US and around the world that might take on the challenge.

Two cities (Tracy and Roseville both in California) engaged BC to help them define a set of strategies to attract higher education to their area. In the first, BC worked with a variety of institutions to work on a coordinated basis with the local community college in improving transfer programs and in creating new opportunities. In the latter the BC assisted the city in attracting a University to establish a branch campus.

Two Mexican universities have engaged BC to build relationships with US Colleges and Universities. The projects involved establishing a list of priorities for exchanges in the university and then in identifying possible US institutions who would have the interest in working with the institutions.

BC was engaged with an innovative content provider to offer new types of educational programs with a group of California universities.

BC was retained as a sell side advisor for the recent merger between the San Francisco School of Theology and the University of Redlands.

I have personally worked with universities (senior staff and board) to think about the challenges of the current higher education environment.

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About Jonathan Brown

Click on the button below to find out more about Jonathan's background and consulting services.

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