LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MOMS: How One Mother Rallied a Million Others Against the Gun Lobby

Donna Dees-Thomases, Author, Alison Hendrie, With, Dianne Feinstein, Foreword by with Alison Hendrie. Rodale $23.95 (248p) ISBN 978-1-57954-997-8

"So much gun violence surrounds us, and unless we're caught in the crossfire, most of us don't pay much attention to it," writes Million Mom March founder Dees-Thomases in this call to arms (so to speak) for sensible gun laws. For the author, the decisive moment was watching children the age of her own two daughters shot at in a California Jewish Community Center summer camp in August 1999. Dees-Thomases's decision to structure her story month by month around the birth of the Million Mom March, which took place on Mother's Day 2000, just nine months after she conceived it, gives too much weight to old political battles, as do her rebuttals to NRA criticisms that she was disingenuous in describing herself as "a suburban housewife." As the NRA noted, and Dees-Thomases affirms, she was in fact a former publicist for CBS newscaster Dan Rather, worked for two senators and was a sister-in-law of Hillary Clinton's best friend, Susan Thomases. Despite these quibbles, it's hard not to be moved by the personal stories, intertwined within the larger tale of the birth of a movement, of ordinary women, and some men, who joined the March after losing their children to gun violence. Their moving stories of teenagers killed at the first day of work or by classmates in school shootings put a human face on statistics like "80 people are shot in the U.S. every day," as do profiles of gun control activists such as Sarah Brady and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy. Agent, David Kuhn. (May)

Forecast: The book's release coincides with the second Million Mom March, and will be promoted on the event's Web site. Features in Parents and Essence magazines, as well as tie-ins to author appearances in several U.S. cities, will set off sales.

Reviewed on: 04/12/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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