This detailed and accessible memoir certainly lives up to its title, as former Massachusetts Congressman Frank offers a warts-and-all portrait of his life in public service. His achievements in a wide range of areas, from financial reform to fighting discrimination against gays and lesbians, validate his belief that “pragmatism in the pursuit of my ideals was morally compelled.” Frank’s own struggles with revealing his homosexuality are interwoven with his time attempting to make the government work better, and he freely admits mistakes he made both in his private and public life. Frank effectively separates himself from well-intentioned liberals who—in his opinion—are sometimes not in touch with the real world, such as those in the 1960s who criticized the architectural design of low-income housing. He is unsparing, however, in his critique of Republicans, describing George W. Bush’s war in Iraq as “the worst single policy decision any U.S. President has ever made.” His experiences in Congress illustrate his approach to making progress: never letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Agent: Eric Lupfer, WME. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/26/2015 Release date: 03/17/2015 Genre: Nonfiction
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