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Last Leper in the Colony: An Atheist Runs for Congress in the Bible Belt Paperback – March 7, 2016
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About the Author
Wynne LeGrow, MD, graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and then trained in internal medicine and nephrology. He served honorably as a doctor in the US army for two years, leaving with the rank of major. LeGrow practiced medicine in Emporia, Virginia, for twenty-nine years before running for Congress in 2010.
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Top customer reviews
Dr. LeGrow ran on his record of being a compassionate physician, concerned citizen, critical thinker, and caring family man in Virginia's 4th Congressional District. His most important goals, if elected, were to address climate change and the growing national debt. Being an open atheist made many of the fellow Democrats in his district uncomfortable, and he lost to an incumbent Republican with a religious agenda, Congressional Prayer Caucus founder and chairman Rep. Randy Forbes (who lost reelection in 2016 after redistricting in the state).
Dr. LeGrow's story also may prove valuable to other first-time candidates. He learned from his mistakes as he went about choosing a campaign staff, raising funds, and trying to get publicity for his race. This compelling and often funny story is bound to interest voters as well as candidates-to-be.
The book was not just a pleasure to read, it had me thinking about the kind of people who don’t get to govern nor represent us today. Wynne is obviously not a politician. Instead he runs on the belief that with 29 years as a small town doctor and business man (he founded and ran his own nephrology clinic), he acquired life experiences, judgement, competence and empathy to govern us better than those currently in office.
I would suggest this book for not just those interested in the influence of religion in politics, but those of you who contemplate how our current political process adversely limits who gets to represent us.
While his experiences may not have been completely typical due to the religious/non-religious dynamics of his run for office, anyone who at some time thought, "I should run for Congress" would do very well to read this book. That goes for liberals and conservatives.
From setting up a campaign staff to making phone calls for contributions, to securing endorsements, to doing radio and print media, the authentic ring of the truth cannot be missed in his portrayal of the events in his campaign as they unfolded.
This isn't a book that should be read only by the community of non-believers in our society. It should be read by anyone with an interest in going into politics. After reading this book, you won't know everything, but you will certainly end up the wiser for it after seeing it the process from the inside.
If you're an attentive, knowledgeable and fair person, this thought has no doubt crossed your mind while listening to career politicians lie, finagle, and scheme to stay in office. What if you, someone with no political experience, just up and ran for office? What if you did it while publicly associating yourself with the religious minority that Americans trust the least -- atheists?
You'd be in for quite a ride.
Dr. Wynne LeGrow, a retired nephrologist, shares his journey running for congress as the Democratic nominee in rural, southern Virginia. The colorful characters he meets along the way and the ridiculous behavior of Randy Forbes, a senior congressman who is one of the most vile and slimy, Christian-in-name-only Republicans, are enough to confirm all the stereotypes and leave you wondering why things aren't more messed up (at least, maybe before Trump got elected). Regardless of the ridiculous circumstances he finds himself in, Dr. LeGrow's message is ultimately one of hope -- you can run for office and maintain your sanity, and maybe, just maybe, admit that you're an atheist. A must read for anyone who's ever wondered what it would be like to run for US Congress, all atheists, and pretty much everyone else!