In just over a decade, John Hickenlooper has gone from brew pub entrepreneur to governor of Colorado, hailed by political analysts and media alike as a solid contender to be the next vice president. In The Opposite of Woe, Hickenlooper tells his own story of unlikely success in his singularly sharp and often hilarious voice.
After ten years at Wesleyan, Hickenlooper found himself laid off from his first job as a geologist. So he rented a space in an empty warehouse in an empty pocket of Denver’s downtown to open a brew pub. Honest, likable, practical, Hickenlooper turned out to be a natural at the job; the pub was a huge success. In fifteen years, he blossomed from small business owner into millionaire at the helm of a string of pubs across the western United States. He was so influential in the community that, encouraged by many, he ran for mayor, essentially as a lark. And then he won.
So began his eight years as one of the most creative and successful mayors in the United States. Doubling down in politics, Hickenlooper ran for Colorado governor in 2010, and won again—twice. Tackling a host of volatile issues, from prison reform to fracking, capital punishment to same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana, Hickenlooper’s administration has persuaded opposing constituencies of a true battleground state to agree and move forward on a middle path—all while dealing with tragic wildfires, floods, and the assassination of a cabinet member.