cover image Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters

Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters

Amy Hill Hearth, Nancy Pelosi, . . Doubleday, $23.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-385-52586-2

In this graceful personal and political history, Pelosi describes growing up as the daughter of a congressman in an Italian-American Catholic world (“growing up Catholic had an enormous impact on me”) and her burgeoning political interest (“I always knew that I did not want to deal only with the meals, the laundry, the house”). She details making history twice—becoming the first daughter to follow her father into Congress and in her groundbreaking election as the first female Speaker of the House in 2007. Pelosi writes passionately about the experiences of congressional women (“Nothing has been more wholesome for the politics and the government of our country than the increased participation of women”) and takes on George W. Bush, who she maintains lacks “the vision, knowledge or judgment to be the leader our country needs.” Careful to separate the person from the policy, Pelosi deals courteously with the former even when she condemns the latter. Pelosi’s book is a simply crafted acknowledgment of the support of her family, mentors and helpful colleagues without rhetorical flourishes, insider scandal or intimate revelations—a gentle account from a tough politician. (July)