From Publishers Weekly
In this graceful personal and political history, Pelosi describes growing up as the daughter of a congressman in an Italian-American Catholic world (growing up Catholic had an enormous impact on me) and her burgeoning political interest (I always knew that I did not want to deal only with the meals, the laundry, the house). She details making history twice—becoming the first daughter to follow her father into Congress and in her groundbreaking election as the first female Speaker of the House in 2007. Pelosi writes passionately about the experiences of congressional women (Nothing has been more wholesome for the politics and the government of our country than the increased participation of women) and takes on George W. Bush, who she maintains lacks the vision, knowledge or judgment to be the leader our country needs. Careful to separate the person from the policy, Pelosi deals courteously with the former even when she condemns the latter. Pelosi's book is a simply crafted acknowledgment of the support of her family, mentors and helpful colleagues without rhetorical flourishes, insider scandal or intimate revelations—a gentle account from a tough politician. (July)
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As Pelosi points out in the preface to this slim volume, becoming Speaker of the House was not so much a personal victory as it was a “pivotal moment for all women.” With the proverbial everywoman in mind, she provides a series of life lessons drawn from her experiences and the experiences of women who influenced and inspired her on the journey to Capitol Hill. Though Pelosi, the daughter of Baltimore mayor Tommy D’Alesandro, was admittedly more socially and politically connected than the average American female, she nevertheless broke a succession of gender barriers that many of her own supporters did not even anticipate. Though her personal and political life has already been well documented in Vincent Bzdek’s Woman of the House: The Rise of Nancy Pelosi (2008), she manages to put an intimate spin on some familiar landscapes. Despite the fact that her advice is relatively tame and not especially original—never lose faith, recognize opportunity, organize, don’t agonize, there is no secret sauce, etc.—readers will appreciate the spirit, the sincerity, and the context of the message delivered by one of the most powerful women in the nation. Sure to be of interest to both Pelosi fans and foes. --Margaret Flanagan