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Renegade for Peace and Justice: Congresswoman Barbara Lee Speaks for Me Hardcover – September 26, 2008
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
My favorite brave American, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, has again done a courageous thing: she has written a personal and powerful story about her life, from her childhood in El Paso, Texas to her extraordinary present day position as U.S. Congresswoman from the 9th district of Northern California. Renegade For Peace and Justice demonstrates how her faith in her God, her values, and her common sense caused her to say no to the Bush Administration's demand, following the attacks of 9/11, that Congress turn over its constitutional powers to declare war to the President, George W. Bush; giving him a blank check to fund endless aggression against a country that was not responsible for the attacks. Hers was the only dissenting vote. For the layperson this book is a wonderful way to begin to understand how our political system works, or of late, doesn't work, because of Lee's ability to explain, in practical terms, her own positions and those of other members of Congress. Lee is not only a hero and a champion of the marginalized and under-represented, she is also a marvelous teacher. (Alice Walker, poet; activist; author of The Color Purple)
Barbara Lee's honest, personal, and very American story will inspire every reader plus generations of young leaders. Yes, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and others have led us by their public examples; but in showing us the links between public and private life, Barbara Lee ushers us into a new era that allows leaders to be whole people. (Gloria Steinem)
Barbara Lee, a renegade for justice, fearless but compassionate, sensitive but smart, expresses in this illustrious book, the courage of Esther, the militancy of Deborah, and the faith of Mary. Her undying commitment to her African motherland and to marginalized people everywhere reminds us of her kinship with both Mother Teresa and her role model, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Readers of this book will want to join Congresswoman Lee as renegades for the cause of justice anywhere and everywhere. (Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr., Senior Pastor, Allen Temple Baptist Church)
Some of the poorest people in the world will never know the name Barbara Lee, yet owe their lives to her determination in the fight against AIDS. Her sense of justice―and injustice―runs about as deep as it's possible to go. (Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of the anti-poverty organization ONE)
When our government shifts from the course charted by our constitution, we can always count on Rep. Barbara Lee to sound the warning bell. Barbara is intimately guided by her sense of direction; when the tide of public opinion runs in the opposite way, Barbara's internal compass guides her through fog that can cloud the sharpest minds. (Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Chair, Asian Pacific American Caucus)
Barbara Lee's exciting autobiography gives us hints why she is such an extraordinary, unique leader. She has lived "Yes. We Can! Si Se Puede!" We can all learn and be grateful for Barbara Lee's life. (Dolores Huerta, president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and cofounder of United Farm Workers)
Most memoirs by Members of Congress are safe, tepid retellings of hardscrabble upbringings or glossing-over of troubled pasts. Not so in the candid new book by Rep. Barbara Lee, which delves into raw emotional territory from the California Democrat's past, including a secret marriage, a clandestine abortion, an abusive marriage and even an LSD trip forced upon her by her violent ex-husband....Still, the story ends in triumph, and Lee remembers her career in the House and the support, both public and private, that she's gotten for her controversial stance as the sole Member of Congress who voted against the use of force after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. We do love a happy ending. (Roll Call, July 2008)
Her passion for public service brought her into the orbit of the Black Panther Party and later more mainstream politics as she developed her iconoclastic views on how to serve. She details the challenges of getting ahead in politics, relying on a strong faith, and maintaining the courage to stand up for what she thinks is right. (September 2008 Booklist)
A refreshingly frank self-examination by a public figure. (Tammerlin Drummond Contra Costa Times, "Public Lawmaker Shows her Private Side" from November 12, 2008)
It's striking to read....Lee's story, told in an earnest, almost reticent way, is startling: who would have thought that this person who has at times been vilified as a left-wing radical is trying to live what she was taught by nuns and in her Methodist Sunday school? (Shelf Awareness, November 2008)
About the Author
Congresswoman Barbara Lee was first elected to represent California's Ninth District in 1998. She served as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in the 111th session of Congress.
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When I lived in the Bay Area I had a chance to talk one on one with Lee twice. I found her to be honest, straightforward, and eager to listen to her constituents. That is a trait often unheard of these days. Most politicians only seem interested in campaign contributors not the everyday worker.
The first chapter of the book is a bit slow but it takes off after that. It is also unfortunate that the black and white photos are of such poor quality.
I particularly found her decision to vote against the Baby Bush war and the reactions to it captivating. Not many people in history have had the courage she has.
This is a book I have been waiting a long time for. It was well worth the read and I am anxiously looking forward to her next book.
her life before politics. This gal is a real hero and
really what America is about. By heard work, by not
being involved in the prison of fear, she conquered all.
If all Congresspeople had come up the same fashion I think we
would have a very exciting Congress.