cover image Taking the Hill: From Philly to Baghdad to the United States Congress

Taking the Hill: From Philly to Baghdad to the United States Congress

Patrick J. Murphy. Holt, $25 (275pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-8695-9

Murphy, a first-term representative from Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, recounts the story of his unlikely political journey in this partisan autobiography. Born to a policeman and a legal secretary in 1973 Philadelphia, Murphy’s early life was unexceptional. After meeting President Clinton in 1996—“a defining moment in my life”—Murphy graduated from Pennsylvania’s King’s College and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the army. He attended the Widener University School of Law before joining the army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. As an army lawyer, he served at West Point and was deployed to Bosnia before joining the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2003, he was deployed to Iraq and led a Brigade Operational Law Team (BOLT) for seven months. After leaving the army, he challenged Republican Rep, Mike Fitzpatrick—“a rubber stamp for George Bush on Iraq”—in the 2006 congressional election. A staunch critic of the Iraq War, Murphy won a narrow victory and now serves “on the front lines in Washington” at “a defining moment in our history.” Short on self-awareness and long on hyperbole, Murphy’s narrative fails to rise above conventional campaign biography. (Feb. 19)