A better knowledge about Warren Christopher's personal and professional background helps to understand more clearly not only the kinds of problems he had to face in his recent transition from Los Angeles to Washington, surely not the first one in his long career as a high profile public servant, but also how he managed to solve them.
Warren Christopher was born in the tiny farming hamlet of Scranton, North Dakota, 69 years ago. His parents had moved there from Iowa in 1914. His "'great-great grandfather had emigrated from Norway to Iowa, bringing with him his wife and four poor daughters'" (Ginsburg, 1994, p. 72). The original name Christopherson had apparently been shortened when they came to the United States. In his interview with Scheer for the Los Angeles Times soon after his appointment to Secretary of State, Christopher attributes the reserve for which he is famous - at one point the New Republic called him a "sphinx" - to his ancestry: "'I'm shy. It's probably genetic. I'm Norwegian and Norwegians are quite reserved, generally speaking" (Scheer, 1993, p. 18).
Christopher's father was a strong supporter of Roosevelt's New Deal and engaged his son in long political conversations. It is here that Christopher traces the origin of his own liberalism: "'He just to me about the needs of the people and concern for the p