If you really can tell a lot about a man by reading his mail, then the Jerry Brown who served as governor of California 30 years ago is very much like the Jerry Brown running for governor today:
Political. Thrifty. Intellectually curious about new ideas and technologies. Cool and cautious even when people are demanding quick action. And more than a little enigmatic.
I recently began reading the personal mail that Brown, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor this year, received and sent during his first governorship, which extended from 1975 to 1983.