Living a Political Life

Madeleine Kunin, Author
Madeleine Kunin, Author Alfred A. Knopf $25 (396p) ISBN 978-0-679-41181-9
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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Candid, thoughtful and gracefully-written, this memoir by the former three-term governor of Vermont is a political complement to the landmark autobiographies by Carolyn Heilbrun ( Writing A Woman's Life ) and Jill Ker Conway ( Written By Herself ) that influenced Kunin: ``When I learned how to meld information with conviction and emotion, I discovered my true public voice.'' Her book may meander a bit and dwell too long on local history but it is full of well-observed, sometimes moving descriptions of the intersection of a female sensibility and politics, from the dilemmas of wardrobe for the public woman, to heartening, surprising ``outbursts of feminist anger from strangers'' and the role of an ``Old Girls'' network. The Swiss-born Kunin, ``a feminist, an immigrant and a Jew,'' was inspired to activism by the Holocaust. Having helped improve education and environment in Vermont, Kunin is now deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
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