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Granny D: You're Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell Paperback – April 8, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In February 2000, at the age of 89, Doris Haddock decided to walk from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., to lobby for campaign finance reform and spread her message along the way. Granny D is a journal of the challenges and triumphs of her trek, in which she "found so many new friends along the road" who entrusted her "with so much of their hearts." Along her route, she was greeted with marching bands, serenades, and parades. She spoke to children, bikers, fraternity boys, politicians, and wayward wanderers alike (some of whom joined her). She also caught the attention of journalists, though some were more interested in the little-old-lady angle than the reform message, but Granny became an expert at keeping the focus on her lobbying effort. And though various TV networks canceled their coverage because she was a "soft news" story, she managed to direct plenty of attention to her cause. Bronchitis, emphysema, and arthritis plagued her--not to mention the other aches and pains that would afflict the toughest of bodies on a 3,000-mile hike. Averaging 10 miles per day, she fought challenging terrain, heat, and even a twister in Texas that almost carried her right off the road. And she celebrated her 90th birthday along the way.

The book is not all politics, though. As various people, events, and places spark memories of her life, she steps back from the topic of finance reform and shares many personal moments: falling in love, the formation of deep friendships, working through grief. The tone is witty and conversational and fraught with bits of wisdom. Much more than a political platform or a call to action, Granny D also chronicles a rich and meaningful life. --Jacque Holthusen

From Publishers Weekly

On January 1, 1999, Haddock, an 89-year-old retired executive secretary and lifelong activist from Dublin, N.H., began walking from Pasadena, Calif., to Washington, D.C. Outraged by the power big-money interests exert in Washington, she carefully planned to cross the country on foot to rally support for national campaign-finance reform. Accompanied by an ever-changing entourage of relatives, friends, strangers, politicians and journalists, Granny D (her "walking name") traveled 10 miles a day, camping out at night or sleeping in private homes. Ignoring her bad back, arthritis and emphysema, she completed the 3,200-mile trip in 14 months, shortly after her 90th birthday, arriving in Washington on February 29, 2000, to the tune of 2,200 supporters chanting, "Go, Granny, go." In this account of the journey, written with Burke, the director of Arizona Common Cause, she chats about the places she saw and the people she met, reminisces about her childhood and vents her anger at corruption in government, with letters from well-wishers thrown in for good measure. But behind the folksiness lurk sharp observations, including sly criticism of one of Bill Bradley's speeches, and even fiery proclamations: outside the Louisville, Ky., office of Mitch McConnell, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Haddock denounced the senator's opposition to campaign-finance reform; the speech alone is well worth the price of the book. Photos not seen by PW. Agent, Gail Ross. (Apr. 10) Forecast: With a seven-city author tour, NPR sponsorship and an appearance on the Today show, Haddock, already a mediagenic spitfire, is sure to draw crowds. Haddock's inspiring message is perfect fodder for family and schoolroom discussions about politics; with the book's low price, retailers should anticipate strong sales.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; Rep Sub edition (April 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812966910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812966916
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"It's never too late to get in shape, nor to get involved in issues of importance to you", so says Granny Doris Haddock. Fed up with a sense of no voice in political issues, and hearing so many other folks express the same sentiments of "big money" barriers existing between people and the officials elected to represent them, Granny Haddock decided to campaign for financial reform by taking her show on the road in her own way-- "walking across America". Her book is an engrossing collection of her experiences as she walked across deserts,- through Native American Villages- and when confronted with snow- took off her sneakers, put on skis and skied one hundred miles across West Virginia. This is determination, focused purpose and love of life at its best. What an example! Reminiscient of those Charles Coralt driving through the heartland of America stories, or Garrison Keillor's Lake Woe-be-gone essays, Granny Haddock's pilgrimage touches and informs you. After reading her book, it will be difficult to whine about anything ever again without getting involved and making an effort to do something about it. Inspirational!
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Format: Hardcover
Right off the bat, I must admit a certain partiality. Doris Haddock is my great-aunt. I've always considered her to be a truly special and gifted individual. Now, the rest of the nation can discover what I've known for a long time. This book is much more than a travel journal, or a discourse on the ills of our political system. It is a look at America and the people who make it such a special place. It is an examination of life,loss, and the reaffirmation of life. It is also a call to action. I re-learned that we are never too old, or too young to find a cause that we can believe in and support, and regardless of what we hear from the media and the politicians, we can make a difference.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a story well told. Not fiction, and very, very real. Doris Haddock achieved a virtually impossible goal of walking across the United States through her entire 90th year and more. In doing that, she grew more aware of just how great the people of this country are, and how important it is to return the power of the government back to those people - and away from the corrupting influences of the special interests.
It is more than just a textual journal of this trip. It lets you get to know the real GrannyD, from her early days through the tortures experienced in her cross country trek. She is truely a great American and makes you wish there were more like her - especially in the decision making positions in government. And, you will meet many other wonderful people along the way.
The story does not drag in any part, and keeps you wanting to see what is coming up next.
Easy reading, and a wonderful book to have and share with others.
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Format: Hardcover
Granny D is real. That's the highest praise I can bestow. You feel you've met the real person and that she's presented herself, warts and all. I actually read this book with pen in hand, marking points to write down to form a synopsis of her wit and wisdom for later reference. This is certainly not something I do more than once in a decade. I'd expected more of a description of the walk itself, and less of a memoir, but I was delighted with what I got. I loved her and the people she met along the way. Though she and I have differing viewpoints on several issues, I thoroughly respected her and was nearly overwhelmed with the magnitude of her undertaking and her optimism.
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Format: Hardcover
Even if you don't care about campaign finance reform, the cause that sent Doris Haddock walking across the country, you will probably enjoy the stories she tells. Doris kept a diary, so we know about her adventures and the people she met along the way. If nothing else you will find out that advanced age, even 90, is not an excuse to pack it in, but rather to pack up and get going for what you believe in. Be inspired, learn something, but mostly have a lot of fun reading this book. I sure did.
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Format: Paperback
I say bravo to Ms. Haddock and to her book! I believe this country needs more passionate input and action from its citizens with regards to our government and the political nightmare we have all help to create and Granny D - Delivers.
Ms. Haddock, as a Californian, may I suggest a sequel to your what I hope will become most successful book: Granny D2 - Raising a little more hell! This one could add "Recall Campaign Financing Reform" to the agenda!
Regarding the lone star reviewer: A Texan against campaign spending limits...what a surprise!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is about 90 year old Doris Haddock walking from Los Angeles to Wshington to call attention to the need for campaign finance reform. Regardless of your politial persuasion, I think you'll find Granny D's book a fun and inspiring read. She intersperses
stories from her life with her pitches to run the money changers out of the Capitol. Her charm is reflected near the end of the book where she says, " Well, I am finished with this book, but I am not finished with my life or with my passion for campaign finance reform. There is almost always time to find another victory, another happy ending. I hope that is your feeling about life, too. I thank you for the time spent with me between these covers. I apologize for preaching far more than I intended, but I 'm sure you skipped through the worst of it"
Oh that we should all be able to pursue such adventure in our life, let along in our 90th year.
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