Every Day Is Extra

John Kerry. Simon & Schuster, $35 (640p) ISBN 978-1-5011-7895-5
In this fine memoir, retired politician Kerry, descended from a wealthy Boston Brahmin family on his mother’s side, details a remarkable five-decade-long career in public service: decorated Vietnam veteran, antiwar leader, lieutenant governor and five-term senator from Massachusetts, 2004 presidential candidate, and secretary of state (2013–2017). He primarily discusses the joys and challenges of leadership roles in the political and diplomatic arenas; Kerry barely mentions his two marriages and two daughters, but recounts many close friendships, reflects on his political values, and writes movingly on issues of faith. He is particularly strong on the culture of the Senate, which “runs on relationships”—among those he befriended across the aisle was John McCain, who briefly considered joining him on the 2004 ticket—but lately has been corroded by the “spectacle and circus” of hyperpartisanship and showboating. Kerry also reveals his personable approach to diplomacy, as when he wooed China’s then–foreign minister Yang Jiechi at a restaurant overlooking Boston Harbor as part of a successful effort to obtain a U.S.-China agreement on emissions reductions. In recounting encounters with foreign leaders, he often takes the measured, understated, and sometimes euphemistic tone of the elder statesman, as when he describes incendiary remarks by Afghan president Hamid Karzai as “quite unhelpful.” This book reveals a man of quiet, passionate patriotism; immense intelligence; and thoughtfulness. Agent: Bob Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2018
Release date: 09/04/2018
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-6685-3
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-5694-6
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