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Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage First Edition Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0446508629
ISBN-10: 0446508624
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Benedict (The Mormon Way of Doing Business) has taken a complicated court case centered on eminent domain and turned it into a page-turner with a conscience. In 1997, an EMT named Susette Kelo left her husband, bought a cottage and started over in the economically depressed Ft. Trumbull neighborhood of New London, Conn. In February 1998, the New London Development Corporation began trying to muscle the neighborhood into selling homes to make way for a Pfizer research complex. Benedict's passionate account is rife with heroes and villains—he delights in pillorying Kelo's foil, Claire Gaudiani, the president of Connecticut College who lured Pfizer to consider New London. The fight escalated when the city tried exercising eminent domain to seize the homes of Kelo and others who refused to sell, leading to the case, Kelo v. City of New London, reaching the Supreme Court in 2005. Raising important questions about the use of economic development as a justification for displacing citizens, this book will leave readers indignant and inspired. (Feb.)
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Review

* 'Passionate...A page-turner with conscience...will leave readers indignant and inspired. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (January 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446508624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446508629
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Monie Garcia VINE VOICE on January 27, 2009
Format: Audio CD
When Susette Kelo's five boys grew up and moved out of the rural house she shared with her husband it became apparent that their marriage was no longer working. Susette made the decision to leave him and move out on her own. Having also made the decision to use no money from their joint account all Susette was able to afford was a small fixer upper on the waterfront in New London, Connecticut.

Around the same time Susette purchased her new home and began to fix it up. The New London Development Corporation was formulating a plan to re-develop the waterfront which included the Ft. Trumbull area where Susette's house was located by selling the land to the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

When Susette and more than a few of her neighbors refused to sell, the city and the NLDC tried to take their homes using eminent domain, the law which allows the state to seize a citizen's private property for public use. What resulted was court case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court and a fight that lasted over 9 years.

Blurb: "In Little Pink House, award-winning investigative journalist Jeff Benedict takes us behind the scenes of this case -- indeed, Susette Kelo speaks for the first time about all the details of this inspirational true story as one woman led the charge to take on corporate America to save her home."

The amazing spirit of Susette Kelo and the other families that refused to leave is so moving. They refused to back down when it seemed impossible that they would ever win. I admire they way Susette showed no sign of weakness in front of the big corporation and the rest of her opposition.

The news stories about the case became national news and the Supreme Court ruling became one of the most unpopular rulings of all time.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fabulous book that takes you on the journey of the Ft. Trumbull neighborhood in New London, CT. You wll be outraged when you read what this neighborhood went through when put up against Eminent Domain. Its amazing to read how Susette Kelo stood up to her City, her State and the US Supreme Court, not for anything other than to hold onto the American Dream of owning and keeping her home. Its a page-turner with a conscience.
Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a case study on the disconnect between the American people and their government at both the state and federal levels. It shows that the bureaucrats in Washington and Hartford (in this instance) simply operate in a world of their own that has no connection with the reality of the life of a typical American citizen.

(Addendum to this review: In November of 2009, Pfizer announced that it was closing its New London office, thereby reinforcing the harsh criticism of the inept development planners in New London -- as well as the critics of the controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the local homeowners and in favor of the commercial development of New London on Pfizer's behalf. Moreover 43 states have since enacted legislation preventing the kind of eminent domain taking that is described in this book.)

The book's author, Jeff Benedict, tells the tale of a woman in New London, Connecticut and seven of her neighbors who watched in horror as their government proceeded to use eminent domain to seize their private homes and eventually bulldoze them to the ground in an effort to help the Pfizer drug company expand its research facilities in the town of 25,000 people on the Connecticut shore.

Worse, when the woman, Susette Kelo, and her supporters seek justice at the nation's highest judicial level, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the town has the right to seize private property to further commercial interests, all in the name of the "public good" - even though the commercial interests destroy lives in local neighborhoods.

The whole New London episode was, in a word, a scam against the private property rights of American citizens.
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Format: Hardcover
Only a few times in my life have I truly read a book cover to cover in one sitting. At the top of the list are two compelling tales - No Bone Unturned and now, Little Pink House - both by Jeff Benedict. I could not put it down although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did close my eyes for a couple of hours at 3am this morning.

Without embellishment or taking sides Jeff immediately captured the essence of the human condition and the compelling nature of the issue. Against a backdrop of constitutional law and basic human dignity the story of Susette Kelo and her neighbours opens a dialogue on everything from states rights to faith and the human condition.

Even I find myself conflicted at the end. Eminent domain is an important tool provided to us by the framers of the constitution and in the case of New London it probably would have been a life-line for solvency if the human condition did not include greed and vengeance. Where is the balance? To the question of law I point to the simplicity and depth of the Federalist Papers.
How could such a clear document be used so badly by so many. In this story Benedict holds up a mirror up to society. We must take ourselves beyond the legal issue and ask ourselves how could we treat our neighbours so disspationately.

While there are clearly villains in this story they are not inherently evil, so where and why did they choose the path of destruction. Benedict's neutrality allows the many points of view to be appreciated (not necessarily agreed with) and discussed. Funny though, and fitting, that at the end of the day, the man who started all of this has become an embarrassing footnote in Connecticut's history.

Once again Jeff has penned a great read about an important issue.
Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage
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