cover image The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland

The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland

Amy Klobuchar. Holt, $30 (368p) ISBN 978-1-62779-417-6

This political memoir is not a particularly exciting read, but it does serve as an apt reminder that some decency remains in American politics. Klobuchar has been a U.S. senator for almost a decade. In that time, the senior senator from Minnesota has proven herself a consensus builder, ethical almost to a fault, and quietly effective for her constituents, while remaining impervious to scandal or partisanship. Klobuchar's memoir paints the picture of a steady, indefatigable, honest servant of the people. She tells candid (good and bad) stories of growing up the daughter of a legendary local newspaper reporter, her early witnessing of the dangers of alcohol abuse, the end of her parents' marriage, her daughter's early health problems, her first campaign, and her experiences in Washington. Klobuchar's stories are carefully positioned (unsurprisingly for a sitting politician) to be both accessible and carry the ring of authenticity while appealing to a broad spectrum of political affiliations. Her even-handedness could be cynically perceived as playing to the middle, but it sounds refreshingly genuine. Readers will come away feeling a bit more positive about the political system and the people working within it. 16-page color insert. Agent: Paul Fedorko, N.S. Bienstock Agency. (Aug.)