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More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education Hardcover – August 10, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
It's easy to forget that politicians are people too, so Ford Jr.'s account of his life from four to 40 is a welcome read. As a young man, Ford Jr. worked on his father's campaigns for Congress, learning skills that would help him win his father's seat in 1996. Ford Jr. credits grassroots strategies for returning him to the House five times, strategies he refused to abandon even after they failed to send him to the Senate in 2006. In a candid chronological examination of what made him the man and the politician that he is, Ford Jr. shares many personal moments, including bracing experiences of racial discrimination. Facing Goliaths in both the House and the media, Ford Jr. believes he exhibited the same valuable traits that his father possessed: honesty, integrity, and determination. Although his account remains largely personal and bipartisan, trafficking in solid American values that readers of all affiliations will sympathize with, one can't help but wonder about the next phase of the still young man's career; this is politics after all.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Harold Ford, Jr., is an executive vice chairman at Bank of America in New York. In addition, he teaches public policy at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and chairs the Democratic Leadership Council. He and his wife, Emily, live in Manhattan.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book discusses his upbringing and quickly enters the era of his father campaigning and serving in Congress for a number of years. Jr. was involved in the campaign and at the office from a very young age. Sr. won an upset victory in the 70s on the taint of Watergate to a Nixon supporter. As the first black representative that wouldn't be overrun or intimidated he was not popular in the white conservative community in Memphis, TN. But this book accurately describes his relentless service to his constituents. If you called his office for help, you received attention. Jr. learned from this and patterned his campaigns and service around relentless service and grassroots campaigning. With his intellect, it's a lethal combination of talent.
The next big section covers his education at St. Albans and Univ. of Penn. followed later by Michigan Law School. A great debate history at Albans as well as a diversity of students led him to challenge his father's liberal philosophy and leading to his career as a Blue Dog Democrat. This is fascinating listening to him modifying his views culminating in his unsuccessful run against Pelosi as Democratic leader. The last substantial part of this book highlights his unsuccessful high profile run for Senator of the state of Tennessee.
Many people may not be aware of the indictment of his father which Jr. blames as being politically motivated. Frankly, following this trial closely, I have to agree with him. One of the co-defendant's wives worked with me and watching this family's trauma of job loss, uprooting to move to the town where charged and eventual bankruptcy to fight this injustice gave me a good insight. Eventually Sr. was appropriately cleared.
I encourage you to read this book about a new politician that I would support no matter what the race based upon his intellect, debating abilities and ability to convey his vision to his constituents.
Ford's story, which offers me hope and motivation, can be paraphrased in one quote of inspiration: "You never know when opportunity is going to spring forth. You never know exactly what a given set of circumstances will produce...Often, the moment it seems least likely that something positive will emerge, it does" (106).
A month ago, when asked "Who is your hero?" I, a 28-year-old graduate student, sat perplexed and embarrassed that I couldn't answer the question. I now have the answer; Harold Ford, Jr. is my hero.
in the late 1880's. This is quite impressive. One of the best lines I've ever heard in a long time was uttered by Cong. Ford: "Your mind goes to unwholesome places when your opponent abandons all morality."