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Feingold: A New Democratic Party Hardcover – July 24, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Author and essayist Horwitt's latest is a love letter to Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the lawmaker whose political life began with a seat on his high school student council (where his "leadership reflected both his passion for the democratic ideals he had absorbed from his family, and his identification with American civil rights and the political heroes who sought to turn those ideals into reality") and now "represents the progressive side of the Democratic divide more clearly and authentically than any successful politician on the national stage." It would be easy to fault Horwitt for his naiveté ("With Wisconsin progressives, efficient government and fiscal prudence were not empty slogans; they were simply the way government was supposed to work. And honesty and high ethical standards were practical, indispensable ingredients of efficient government because they curbed tendencies toward cronyism, graft, and other forms of corruption."), but his intent here seems to be one of preaching to the choir. In that case, he succeeds with this light, one-sided polit-bio.
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From Booklist

Feingold's name is likely most often recalled in tandem with Senator John McCain's as part of campaign-finance-reform law. His lone Senate vote against the U.S. Patriot Act and his criticism of the war in Iraq have also heightened his profile as a man willing to take courageous stances. Horwitt, whose previous work was a biography of social reformer Saul Alinsky, depicts the Democratic senator from Wisconsin as an authentic progressive at a time when his party has lost its bearings. Raised by a staunchly Democratic father, Feingold developed a passion for politics early and an appreciation for progressive ideals. Horwitt recounts Feingold's rise in politics, always evoking the progressive label even as the Democrats adopted political pragmatism. Feingold was on course for clashes with his own party—defying Democrats to vote to continue the impeachment hearing of President Clinton following the Monica Lewinsky scandal and butting heads with Hillary Clinton on campaign-finance reform. Although this biography is unauthorized, the timing of its publication will certainly pique readers' curiosity about Feingold's further political ambitions. Bush, Vanessa

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141653492X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416534921
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,578,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've always been proud that Russ Feingold represents me in the Senate and this book enhanced my knowledge of his story and made me even prouder to call him My Senator. In such a mobile society, it is good to know that Feingold's roots run deep in Wisconsin. It was fascinating to learn some of the decision making process behind the principled stands he has taken through the years. He is a politician who considers The Constitution to be the touch stone of our government and as relevant today as ever in our history.

I think many Wisconsinites would find the historical references to local names and places stories fascinating. But I also highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks there is no one still willing to stand up against the big money interests for Constitutional principled government. Russ Feingold is one of the real people our founders were hoping would govern us. I agree with the previous reviewer that young people would benefit from reading this book to give them hope and an ethical guide, we sorely need heroes.
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Format: Hardcover
Horwitt portrays Senator Russ Feingold as a principled guy with a passion for progressive politics who worked his way to the top all the way from the bottom rung by connecting with and listening to people. That's exactly who Russ Feingold is and that's exactly what a Senator should be.

The first half of the book includes a short biography of Russ's life with special emphasis on the events that encouraged him to enter national politics. The second half of the book focuses on the events that define Russ Feingold. Whether the instances concern campaign financing, the vote on the Patriot Act or the vote on Bill Clinton's impeachment, Russ proves that he is not a panderer or a partisan but ultimately he supports what's in the best interest of his beloved state, Wisconsin, and his beloved country, the United States of America.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a simple biography of Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold. It starts with a brief genealogical sketch, including where the Feingold's immigrated from and how they settled in Janesville,WI.

The Senator had a fascination with politics at a young age and the author explains the influence of Wisconsin's iconic,political hero "Fighting Bob" LaFollett.

While Senator Feingold's opposition to the Patriot Act is well-known, his Constitutionally-based view of the Second Amendment may not get as much publicity.

This biography traces his college days and his improbable selection as a Rhodes scholar.

Some of the state senate battles were explored. His victory with the BGH milk labeling bill is one. The interstate banking bill was a fight that he lost and a quote on page 107 sums up the effect that loss had on him. "It sort of was the beginning of my enormous resentment of the power of money to corrupt the political process..that experience of seeing the raw power of the special interests over both parties."

The Senator went against conventional politics in his campaign strategies also, utilizing the old fashioned tradition of "citizen participation."

Mr. Horwitt describes the difference in the way the Feingold office conducts business in Washington. They follow strict ethics rules. "I didn't come to Washington to be popular" is a quote from Senator Feingold. Another amazing rarity is that he returns any pay raises in keeping another campaign promise.

On page 163 Senator Feingold had a stinging criticism of the Democratic Leadership Council after the passage of NAFTA. "I see the DLC as, to some extent, taking the soul from the Democratic Party. And I see the DLC as having sold American workers down the river.
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