From Publishers Weekly
A charismatic politician with a standout résumé, in 2008 Governor Richardson may become the first Hispanic-American on a presidential ticket—at least if he has anything to say about it. In this campaign pamphlet, er, autobiography, Richardson lays out the highlights of his professional career, documenting how, after gaining a taste for politics in college and finaglinghis way into the international affairs program at the Fletcher School, he worked his way up from Capitol Hill staffer to U.S. congressman, United Nations ambassador, head of the Department of Energy and now governor of New Mexico. Along the way, he developed a knack for negotiating the release of prisoners from some of the world's most notorious dictators, among them Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro, work that led him to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times. Richardson prefaces his account of these triumphs with a short chapter on his life in Mexico City, where he lived with his father, a prominent American businessman, and his mother, a Mexican secretary, until he was 12, but the focus of this book is his life in America. Though the autobiography is clearly designed as part of Richardson's long-term campaign for re-election in New Mexico and for national consideration by the DNC, it manages to provide a sense of his most famous characteristics: his blunt, disarming humor; his glad-handing chumminess; and his dogged ambition. "Some politicians say they feel uncomfortable talking about power, as if it's the nasty relation a family wants to keep hidden from public view," he writes. Richardson isn't one of those politicians, and it's his straight talk about how he got the power he has, and how he likes to flex it, that saves this book from being one long commercial. 16-page b&w photo insert not seen by PW
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Richardson, governor of New Mexico, is widely considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. The son of an American businessman father and a Mexican mother, raised in Mexico City and educated in a New England prep school and an East Coast college, Richardson has the multicultural background--and political savvy--to garner wide appeal. After six years on Capitol Hill, he headed to New Mexico to establish himself in local politics with an eye toward running for national office. Seen as a carpetbagger, Richardson had to prove himself to the local political patrons, and relates the long, arduous, and contentious climb up the ladder to the governorship. Along the way, he parlayed his background, interest in international affairs, and considerable negotiating skills into a variety of positions and assignments, including U.S. Congressman, cabinet member, and UN ambassador. Nominated four times for the Nobel Prize, Richardson has had a hand in dealing with terrorism, energy policy, and foreign relations. Some might view his fast-paced autobiography as the opening round in a political campaign. Given Richardson's star power among the Democrats, readers interested in national politics and the landscape for future presidential prospects will find this book interesting reading. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved