From the Inside Flap
Denny Hastert is one of the most powerful men in America-and yet chances are you know little or nothing about him. And Denny Hastert likes it that way. Not because he has anything to hide, but because he doesn't care about who gets the credit, he just wants to get the job done for the American people.
In Speaker: Lessons from 30 Years of Coaching and Politics, Denny Hastert breaks his silence to tell a remarkable American story: of how he grew up among the fields of Northern Illinois, made a name for himself as a high school and collegiate wrestler, became a high school wrestling and football coach and civics teacher...and eventually found himself teaching, and learning about, civics in the most important forum in the world: in the United States Congress as Speaker of the House, the third most powerful man in government. Speaker is a true Mr. Smith Goes to Washington story, full of lived-in wisdom, funny anecdotes, and straight talk about what goes on in the "smoke-filled" rooms of congressional power. Along the way, you'll learn: * The secret of winning in politics: under-promise and over-produce (the reverse of what most politicians do) * The Hastert formula: Build a team, leave the spotlight to others, be honest, be fair, and stick to your objectives as tenaciously as a fullback hammering at the goal line * Lessons from wrestling: there's no one to blame but yourself if you get pinned * The shock of September 11-or actually, the non-shock: how Speaker Hastert kept Congress running smoothly during the crisis * How the Vatican could never find time to receive the Congressional Medal of Freedom that was voted for the pope-until it became clear that then-President Clinton would not be awarding it * Speaker Hastert's agenda for the next Congress Denny Hastert grew up in the back of a feed truck and still remembers, fondly, a boyhood spent of hard work and high dreams, of harvesting hay and of living in a state of upstanding, well-meaning people. That same sort of down home grit and determination, idealism, and belief in the goodness of America makes Speaker one of the most refreshing, enjoyable, and enlightening political books of the year.
About the Author
J. Dennis Hastert has been Speaker of the House since 1999 and has served in Congress since 1986. A former member of the Illinois House of Representatives and for sixteen years a teacher and coach at Yorkville High School, Hastert divides his time between Washington, D.C., and Yorkville, Illinois, with his wife Jean.