Living a Political Life

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The first time Madeleine M. Kunin ran for office it was because she thought there ought to be more women in politics. In time she fulfilled that belief by becoming the first woman governor of Vermont. Throughout her career, Kunin found that the rules for women politicians were different: she would not be forgiven (nor would she forgive herself) for neglecting her family. She could not afford to display emotion at the wrong times lest she be thought "weak." And she would have to learn to play political hardball with the best of them while keeping her integrity.

In Living a Political Life, Kunin-who is now Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education-takes a frank look at the challenges that confronted her as she tried not just to succeed in politics but to set a precedent for other women. In doing so, she illuminates both what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a public servant and gives us a memoir as thoughtful and revealing as any to emerge from the corridors of power.


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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Jul 27, 2011
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780307801890
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Political
Biography & Autobiography / Presidents & Heads of State
Biography & Autobiography / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Pearls, Politics, and Power is a call to action for new political engagement and leadership from the women of America. Informed by conversations with elected women leaders from all levels, former three-term Vermont Governor and Ambassador to Switzerland Madeleine M. Kunin asks: What difference do women make? What is the worst part of politics, and what is the best part? What inspired these women to run, and how did they prepare themselves for public life? How did they raise money, protect their families' privacy, deal with criticism and attack ads, and work with the good old boys?

Kunin's core message is that America needs an infusion of new leadership to better address the major problems of our time. To see how women can achieve that goal, she combines her personal experience in politics; the lessons of past women's movements; the stories of young women today who have new ideas about their role in society; and interviews with a wide range of women in positions of power, looking for clues to their leadership, as well as the effects of gender stereotyping. She interviews Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, analyzes her campaign, and addresses the question: "Is the country ready?" Other interviewees include U.S. Representatives Loretta Sanchez, Linda Sanchez, Deborah Pryce, and Tammy Baldwin, and U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Amy Klobuchar, and Carol Moseley Braun, and Governors Kathleen Sibelius and Janet Napolitano.

The next generation of women will be inspired to lead by seeing women like Nancy Pelosi wielding the gavel, and seeing themselves reflected in the portraits in statehouses, courthouses, corporate and university boardrooms, and the White House. Pearls, Politics, and Power will help ensure that this inspiration is not soured or deflected, but channeled into successful candidacies by America's leaders of tomorrow. What will it take for women to assume their rightful places in the political corridors of power?

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