FREE PDF Ù BOOK Let the People in

KINDLE è The Life and Times of Ann Richards Û Jan Reid

Let the People in The Life and Times of Ann RichardsWhen Ann Richards delivered the keynote of the 1988 Democratic National Convention and mocked President George H W Bush Poor George he can't help it He was born with a silver foot in his mouth she instantly became a media celebrity and triggered a rivalry that would alter the course of American history In 1990 Richards won the governorship of Texas upsetting the GOP's colorful rancher and oilman Clayton Williams The first ardent feminist elected to high office in America she opened up public service to women blacks Hispanics Asian Americans gays and the disabled Her progressive achievements and the force of her personality created a lasting legacy that far transcends her rise and fall as governor of TexasIn Let the People In Jan I'll admit I'm probably not the intended audience for Jan Reid's biography of Ann Richards As someone who was only eight years old when Richards lost her re election bid for Texas governor to George W Bush I knew her only as a peripheral figure in modern politics that feisty white haired woman from the Lone Star State who ridiculed George HW Bush at the '88 Democratic National Convention and staked a claim for feminists everywhere and both times in wicked little soundbites In fact it was in her death that I first came to know her; as news channels replayed those two punchlines ad nauseum born with a silver foot in his mouth backwards and in high heels she lodged herself in my conscious so thoroughly that by the time Reid's biography was published last year I knew enough about her that I also knew I wanted Reid's book is a thorough researched entertaining and often surprising account of how a mother and housewife who was active in political circles became the most recognizable woman of her time and almost always through hard work and endurance rather than the typical dumb luck and good ol' boys nepotism But lest we think of Richards as just a tender lily among rough bramble patches Reid dispels any preconceptions by letting us know in page after page chapter after chapter about Richards' troubled younger years when she spent her days doing drugs getting drunk and gradually drifting away from her husband as a sense of uselessness overtook her It's a strange few chapters in the book not because it sometimes feels like oversharing this is a biography after all and Reid's job is to tell the truth as it is but because in this age of hyper sanitized life stories and endless media scrutiny it's uniue to see a politician's struggles laid out so bare and unpolished for us to see In fact as Reid points out Richards did much the same during her own life turning opponents' attacks on her alcoholism into opportunities to reach out to those who also struggled especially Texas inmates who lacked any rehabilitation beyond prison walls As Reid mentions towards the end of his biography one of Richards' greatest legacies is that of someone who helped the incarcerated fight the demons of dependency which often led prisoners to re offend and fall back into the system By the time she was elected governor she was off illegal drugs had been in AA for years and maintained a respectful relationship with her ex husbandEven incredible though is the detail Reid puts into demonstrating just how progressive Richards was on social issues even as she governed a state that was becoming increasingly conservative Texas has not had a Democratic governor since Richards left office in 1995 Richards the second female governor of Texas and the first to be elected without help from a prominent spouse appointed women Hispanics and African Americans to top government posts than anyone before or since and her stance on LGBT rights she didn't care put her at odds with most of the country in the early 90s and unfortunately helped Bush's campaign led by Karl Rove make her into a liberal with radical views who didn't deserve to keep the state's top job That's not to say Reid lets Richards off the hook for some of her damaging decisions not vetting close friends and campaign aides letting her emotions get to her during speeches becoming too enad with the national spotlight but he also knows that Richards was an anomaly a politician who wanted to do right by all the people not just those who voted for her and in following her sense of duty she became a targetWhat tends to slow Reid's book down besides his immersion in all things Texas is his over reliance on letters written to and by Richards They are deeply personal often witty and rich with information about Richards as she was beyond the cameras and speeches her letters to Bud Shrake for example are sweet and freuently heartbreaking but they often dominate chapters that are fine on their own Reid relishes in reprinting many of Richards' letters and speeches fully even though they take up pages at a time and tend to numb any interest the rest of the chapter had already built up On top of this Richards' most important speeches including her '88 convention speech are left either in snippets or unprinted altogether This seems like an ultimate travesty to write the biography of a state treasurer who was catapulted to national prominence and the Governor's Mansion because of a knock down political speech and not give that speech its due For many people myself included that speech defined Richards' legacy as someone who was funny whips mart and photogenic but also warm relatable and never far from her rootsprecisely the person Reid writes about and precisely the kind of person we need ofThis reivew was originally published at There Will Be Books Galore

READER Let the People in

FREE PDF Ù BOOK Let the People in ñ ➻ [Reading] ➽ Let the People in: The Life and Times of Ann Richards By Jan Reid ➰ – When Ann Richards delivered the keynote of the 1988 Democratic National Convention and mocked President George H W Bush Poor George he can't help it He was born with a silver foot in hiInside story of Richards's rise from county office and the state treasurer's office to the governorship where she championed gun control prison reform environmental protection and school finance reform and he explains why she lost her reelection bid to George W Bush which evened his family's score and launched him toward the presidency Reid describes Richards's final years as a world traveler lobbyist public speaker and mentor and inspiration to office holders including Hillary Clinton His nuanced portrait reveals a complex woman who battled her own frailties and a good old boy establishment to claim a place on the national political stage and prove what can happen in government if we simply open the doors and let the people in I didn’t finish While I love her this author puts a lot of extraneous info that takes away from why I wanted to read it in the first place Still love Ann Will try her autobiography instead

Jan Reid Û The Life and Times of Ann Richards BOOK

Reid draws on his long friendship with Richards interviews with her family and many of her closest associates her unpublished correspondence with longtime companion Bud Shrake and extensive research to tell a very personal human story of Ann Richards's remarkable rise to power as a liberal Democrat in a conservative Republican state Reid traces the whole arc of Richards's life beginning with her youth in Waco her marriage to attorney David Richards her frustration and boredom with being a young housewife and mother in Dallas and her shocking encounters with Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter He follows Richards to Austin and the wild 1970s scene and describes her painful but successful struggle against alcoholism He tells the full Jan Reid gave me new insights into Ann Richards I know Jan and his wife Dorothy Browne and numerous characters in the book from my years in Texas politics and my time working for Ann as a budget and policy analyst for transportation and criminal justice I first met Ann through the Texas Women’s Political Caucus in the 1970’s before she first ran for Travis County Commissioner Reading about people you knew and time past is a somewhat surreal experience I appreciate learning about Ann as a person long before I knew her and the bigger picture of her life Thanks Jan for this book