During his tenure as a larger-than-life member of Congress, John Moss was a major force in the development of our competitive capital markets and enhancing the oversight powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Michael Lemov has done an outstanding job of capturing Moss's intellect, charisma and contributions, in this important history of that era and Moss's illustrious career. (Harvey Pitt, former chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission)
It requires tenacity to pry important, sometimes damaging public information out of the government. No one was more tenacious than Congressman John Moss, who spent 12 years fighting to enact the Freedom of information Act. We should be grateful for his vision and leadership. His life and the story of that battle to enact a basic American freedom, is well told in Michael Lemov's wonderful biography. (Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
An insightful history of a time when Congress actually responded to the American people and crucial laws to protect the consumer and guarantee freedom of information to the public were enacted. A story of the battles of one determined man and a real-life lesson you are not likely to read in a text book. (Peter Harkness, founding Publisher, Governing Magazine and former Editor, Congressional Quarterly)
A new book People's Warrior: John Moss and the Fight for Freedom of Information and Consumer Rights has just been published. Lovingly prepared by his former chief counsel, Michael Lemov, this work tells the amazing story of one man's determination to make government information accessible to the public. He has an amazing record of public service, from his work on the Consumer Product Safety Act to the Securities Investor Protection Act and so much more. It's almost unthinkable now, but before John Moss, average citizens and the media did not have the right to see government information. People's Warrior shines a light on an amazing life of public service. (Al Gore's Blog, Algore.Com)
...it's a day to remember underappreciated Americans who have made a big difference. I've just finished reading a book about one of them: the late John Moss, who from the early 1950s through the late 1970s was a Congressman from California's Central Valley. It is mainly because of Moss that we now have a Freedom of Information Act, a Consumer Product Safety Commission, various financial-reform bodies, and a host of other protections that would not have a prayer of getting through the Congress if they were introduced now. Moss’s longtime aide and associate, Michael Lemov, has written a new biography of him, People’s Warrior, that is startling mainly in recalling an era in which politicians actually thought (gasp!) that they could agree on significant reforms and get them passed in relatively short order. It's only a generation ago, though it seems as distant as the time of Upton Sinclair and Lincoln Steffens, and Lemov's book conveys what it was like. The book is worth reading and reflecting upon. (The Atlantic)
People’s Warrior is the best account to date of Representative Moss’s legislative battles to win the public’s right to obtain government information, consumer protections, federal safety standards for motor vehicles, and protections for securities in brokerage accounts. For FOIA advocates, Lemov’s treatment of Moss’s decades-long fight to pass the Freedom of Information Act –which was signed into law on July 4th, 1966– is especially riveting. (National Security Archive)
Mike Lemov, has done justice with this inspiring and instructive account of one of the giants in our institution’s history.
About the Author
Michael R. Lemov
served as chief counsel to John Moss for eight years and as general counsel of the National Commission on Product Safety.
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