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A Good Fight Hardcover – Unabridged, March 22, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1st edition (March 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586481053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586481056
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"After a disaster," writes Sarah Brady, "you shouldn't try to go back and live exactly the way you did before." Brady has weathered the crippling of her husband by attempted Reagan assassin John Hinckley, the gun-control battle against the National Rifle Association, scorn heaped on her by pro-gun conservative pundits, raising a son with learning disabilities, and recurrent cancer. These hardships have taught her abundant lessons in how to conduct a political campaign and reckon with shortcomings and doubts, lessons she imparts throughout this highly readable memoir.

Those hardships have only steeled Brady's resolve both to win her battles and enjoy her time in the sun--a good fight indeed. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly

Readers get an intimate look at the events, both personal and professional, that shaped Brady's political career and the direction of U.S. gun legislation in this memoir of the lobbying life. She begins her story on March 30, 1981, when her husband, White House Press Secretary James Brady, was shot in an assassination attempt on President Reagan. His injury and recuperation, filled with close calls and setbacks, takes her on a journey that includes 15 years at the lobbying group Handgun Control, first as a volunteer, then as a board member and finally as its chair until 1996. Brady gives a detailed, suspenseful account of the struggle to pass the Brady bill, a handgun control law finally signed in 1993. Readers will take special interest in her recollections of high-profile politicians. Though she doesn't sling mud, Brady openly expresses her frustration with those who hindered the bill. A lifelong Republican (and an admirer of Reagan), Brady became disillusioned when Bush the elder effectively blocked passage of the bill, and she endorsed Clinton in 1992. Writing in unpretentious prose, she leads the reader from one fight to the next without stopping to feel sorry for herself even in the midst of husband's disability and her own current battle with lung cancer. The book will likely appeal to political enthusiasts and ardent gun-control supporters, and, though Brady is neither as iconoclastic nor as captivating a writer as Katharine Graham, fans of Graham's Personal History may enjoy this story of a determined woman in a male-dominated Washington. 8 pages b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read two autobiographies back-to-back: one by Katherine Graham, and the other by Sarah Brady. These are two different women in Washington's inner political circle, from two different walks of life. Both women had life-altering experiences due to their husbands being shot. Graham's husband committed suicide; Brady's husband was permanently disabled during an assassination attempt on President Reagan. I found Brady's story about her life to be completely unpretentious and honest. It is a compelling story that reads easily. Brady wants to tell us about the episodes of her life, but the real inspiration lies in the way she addresses each of those episodes. Feel free to agree or disagree with her political preferences, or her beliefs about gun control. But don't for one minute question her authenticity. This is a book that entertains, while also making readers analyze their own values.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from the library and read it in a day and a half. (I work two jobs, so I consider this to be a major accomplisment!) I liked "A Good Fight" so much that I then purchased a copy for my mom for mother's day. There is a lot to admire about Sarah Brady: the strength with which she faced and continues to face an adversary like the NRA; her courage in dealing with her husband's disability and her own cancer; her brutal honesty with which she addresses and discusses her ongoing battle with a cigarette addiction. The list goes on. Sarah faces every challenge in life with strength and determination and she is an inpiration to anyone who wants to make a difference and live their lives fully. There are many "good fights" in this inspiring and uplifting book. Kudos to Sarah Brady.
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15 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Berman on April 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I don't know what it is about guns that makes people react with such hatred and anger. This book is a powerful story of an intelligent, tough woman who has taken tragedy and turned it into a powerful crusade. She turned the tragic shooting of her husband, Jim, into an effort that has kept guns out of the hands of criminals only to find out that she's been stricken with cancer. And, again, she chose to fight - this time against the disease within.
It's a powerful story, well told. Whether you agree with her policies or not, it's impossible not to admire her strength of character and conviction.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "bshor20611" on April 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sarah Brady has written from the heart. She lays out her personal life for all to read. Her reaction to Jim's shooting
is profound and she has done wonderful work in trying to counteract the profligate use of hand guns. I salute her.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard R on June 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sarah Brady describes herself as a college goof-off, never quite the prettiest girl, and a happy housewife. She was delighted in 1981 when Ronald Reagan selected her husband, Jim Brady, as his Press Secretary. But she admits she was in over her head, wearing the wrong clothes and star-gazing at Washington's elite. Within three months, the dream was over. Jim Brady was gravely injured during the March 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan. Sarah Brady's life changed and she became a passionate advocate for sensible gun laws. Her hard work and common sense were instrumental in passing two laws over the objections of the NRA: the Brady Law that mandated a waiting period for handgun purchases, and the Assault Rifle Ban.
For those interested in the give-and-take of the firearms battles in Washington, the book may drift a bit too often into asides about Jim's medical difficulties or the doings of a family maid or longtime friend, while not revealing all you might wish to know about the legislative battles. Fair enough, you can flip ahead. In the end, the personal material reveals Mrs. Brady as a compassionate, strong woman who struggles with family, trauma, and self-doubt, and earns her every victory. She's not quite a hero, in some ways she's more interesting than that. An every-Jane who outworks her opponents.
Brady was a dedicated Republican who felt the firearms issue need not be partisan, but rather one of common sense. While she has become something of a bogeywoman for the right-wing gun nuts (just read some of the other reviews on this page), she states her position clearly, "I believe that law-abiding citizens should be able to buy and keep firearms. And I believe there are sensible standards that we can and should insist upon when it comes to gun ownership." (p.104).
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard R on June 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sarah Brady describes herself as a college goof-off, never quite the prettiest girl, and a happy housewife. She was delighted in 1981 when Ronald Reagan selected her husband, Jim Brady, as his Press Secretary. But she admits she was in over her head, wearing the wrong clothes and star-gazing at Washington's elite. Within three months, the dream was over. Jim Brady was gravely injured during the March 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan. Sarah Brady's life changed and she became a passionate advocate for sensible gun laws. Her hard work and name were instrumental in passing two laws over the objections of the NRA: the Brady Law that mandated a waiting period for handgun purchases, and the Assault Rifle Ban.
For those interested in the give-and-take of the firearms battles in Washington, the book may drift a bit too often into asides about Jim's medical difficulties or the doings of a family maid or longtime friend, while not revealing all you might wish to know about the legislative tussles. Fair enough, you can flip ahead. In the end, the personal material reveals Mrs. Brady as a compassionate, strong woman who struggles with family, trauma, and self-doubt, and earns her every victory. She's not quite a hero, in some ways she's more interesting than that. An every-Jane who outworks her opponents.
Brady was a dedicated Republican who felt the firearms issue need not be partisan, but rather one of common sense. While she has become something of a bogeywoman for the right-wing gun fans (just read some of the other reviews on this page), she states her position clearly, "I believe that law-abiding citizens should be able to buy and keep firearms. And I believe there are sensible standards that we can and should insist upon when it comes to gun ownership." (p.104).
Read more ›
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