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Frank : A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage
by Barney Frank


Overview -

The New York Times Bestseller

How did a disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a thick accent become one of the most effective (and funniest) politicians of our time?

Growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey, the fourteen-year-old Barney Frank made two vital discoveries about himself: he was attracted to government, and to men.  Read more...


 
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More About Frank by Barney Frank
 
 
 
Overview

The New York Times Bestseller

How did a disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a thick accent become one of the most effective (and funniest) politicians of our time?

Growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey, the fourteen-year-old Barney Frank made two vital discoveries about himself: he was attracted to government, and to men. He resolved to make a career out of the first attraction and to keep the second a secret. Now, sixty years later, his sexual orientation is widely accepted, while his belief in government is embattled.

Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage is one man's account of the country's transformation--and the tale of a truly momentous career. Many Americans recall Frank's lacerating wit, whether it was directed at the Clinton impeachment ("What did the president touch, and when did he touch it?") or the pro-life movement (some people believe "life begins at conception and ends at birth"). But the contours of his private and public lives are less well-known. For more than four decades, he was at the center of the struggle for personal freedom and economic fairness. From the battle over AIDS funding in the 1980s to the debates over "big government" during the Clinton years to the 2008 financial crisis, the congressman from Massachusetts played a key role. In 2010, he coauthored the most far-reaching and controversial Wall Street reform bill since the era of the Great Depression, and helped bring about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
In this feisty and often moving memoir, Frank candidly discusses the satisfactions, fears, and grudges that come with elected office. He recalls the emotional toll of living in the closet and how his public crusade against homophobia conflicted with his private accommodation of it. He discusses his painful quarrels with allies; his friendships with public figures, from Tip O'Neill to Sonny Bono; and how he found love with his husband, Jim Ready, becoming the first sitting member of Congress to enter a same-sex marriage. He also demonstrates how he used his rhetorical skills to expose his opponents' hypocrisies and delusions. Through it all, he expertly analyzes the gifts a successful politician must bring to the job, and how even Congress can be made to work.
Frank is the story of an extraordinary political life, an original argument for how to rebuild trust in government, and a guide to how political change really happens--composed by a master of the art.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374280307
  • ISBN-10: 0374280304
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publish Date: March 2015
  • Page Count: 400
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Political
Books > Biography & Autobiography > LGBT
Books > Political Science > American Government - Legislative Branch

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-01-26
  • Reviewer: Staff

This detailed and accessible memoir certainly lives up to its title, as former Massachusetts Congressman Frank offers a warts-and-all portrait of his life in public service. His achievements in a wide range of areas, from financial reform to fighting discrimination against gays and lesbians, validate his belief that “pragmatism in the pursuit of my ideals was morally compelled.” Frank’s own struggles with revealing his homosexuality are interwoven with his time attempting to make the government work better, and he freely admits mistakes he made both in his private and public life. Frank effectively separates himself from well-intentioned liberals who—in his opinion—are sometimes not in touch with the real world, such as those in the 1960s who criticized the architectural design of low-income housing. He is unsparing, however, in his critique of Republicans, describing George W. Bush’s war in Iraq as “the worst single policy decision any U.S. President has ever made.” His experiences in Congress illustrate his approach to making progress: never letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Agent: Eric Lupfer, WME. (Mar.)

 
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