On the face of it, here's an improbable book: a memoir of four years as Secretary of ... Labor.
Well, in this case it works because the author is Robert B. Reich, a warm and lively writer who because of his 'Friend Of Bill' status and his strong positions on economic issues was inside virtually every political and ideological tussle of the Clinton administration's first term. What puts the book over the top though is that its author retains his humanity even after walking through the looking glass of official Washington. We experience, for instance, the angst of having to let his two sons and wife go back to the family home in Cambridge because he can't quite yet leave the struggle for such improvements as an increase in the minimum wage. Throughout it all, Reich keeps the sharp eye of the outsider. Witness for example this comment about Newt Gingrich: "His office is adorned with figurines of dinosaurs, as you might find in the bedrooms of little boys who dream of one day being huge and powerful."
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From Library Journal
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be in a powerful position in government, author Reich's memoirs of his stint as President Clinton's Labor Secretary (1992?96) is a good place to start. Known as the "conscience" of the Clinton administration, Reich reveals a life inside the loop that is a funny, enlightening personal account of his efforts to put his boomer ideals into practice. These journal entries deal with the relentless pressure from all sides about pending legislation, ridiculous interactions with elected officials and lobbyists, advice to the President on wage and labor issues, and interactions with such powerful officials as Alan Greenspan, Newt Gingrich, and, of course, his 20-year pal, Bill Clinton. Reich's experience as a writer (e.g., The Work of Nations, Vintage, 1992), not a laborer, posed peculiar difficulties in building relationships with labor leaders. From striking baseball players to union bosses to shameless politicians, Reich has had to deal with them all in his strong commitment to Clinton's goals while struggling to maintain family balance, classifying him as one of the more successful labor leaders in history. This is essential for larger public libraries in metropolitan areas with heavy interest in memoirs of insider politicos.?Dale Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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