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The Thunder and the Sunshine: Four Seasons in a Burnished Life

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    "His initial impression was that he was a bit standoffish or not over effusive but it grew on him someway." - James Joyce, Ulysses

    Senator Gary Hart has written a new memoir of his years of public service. The book makes a radical departure from the tone and style of his previous 1993 memoir, The Good Fight, which was mostly told in the third person and was heavily issue-driven. This memoir focuses much more on personal experiences throughout his years as a campaign manager, US senator, presidential candidate, author, and statesman, and reveals that Senator Hart is not quite the "cool and aloof" person the media described him to be in the 1980s.
    There are anecdotes related in this book that had me laughing out loud, including one involving an Italian prison and another involving Soviet Premier Brezhnev's prescription medications. Senator Hart owns up to somewhat of a mischievous streak in the telling of both. There are also episodes involving missed opportunities (by the Reagan Administration) to make historic inroads to peace in troubled global hot spots at a time when pro-active US involvement could have been a game-changer.
    Senator Hart's viewpoint has always been thought-provoking and unique; he continues to demonstrate those qualities here, but in a way that shows a much greater willingness to discuss personal thoughts and feelings and to display his own wry sense of humor than he has shown in past writings.
    I devoured this book in a few days, enjoyed it tremendously, and recommend it absolutely.

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