Don't Let the Fire Go Out!

Overview

The slogan Don’t Let the Fire Go Out! became the guiding force for Jean Carnahan as she confronted life’s challenges after her husband, son, and longtime friend were killed in a plane crash on October 16, 2000. The wife of Mel Carnahan, the well-known and highly respected Missouri governor and popular leader of the Democratic Party, Jean Carnahan made history when she agreed to serve in the U.S. Senate after Missouri voters elected her husband to the position posthumously. Don’t Let the Fire Go Out! is a ...

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Overview

The slogan Don’t Let the Fire Go Out! became the guiding force for Jean Carnahan as she confronted life’s challenges after her husband, son, and longtime friend were killed in a plane crash on October 16, 2000. The wife of Mel Carnahan, the well-known and highly respected Missouri governor and popular leader of the Democratic Party, Jean Carnahan made history when she agreed to serve in the U.S. Senate after Missouri voters elected her husband to the position posthumously. Don’t Let the Fire Go Out! is a fascinating and compelling look at the life of this amazingly strong woman.

Although the emphasis in this book is on the years 2000 through 2002—as Carnahan survived the tragic deaths of her loved ones and made her push forward with the campaign to fill what would have been her husband’s Senate seat—it also covers her family, her years of growing up in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and her marriage to Mel Carnahan. She offers a rare, behind-the-scenes look at life in the Governor’s Mansion during her years as Missouri’s First Lady. The book also provides insight into Mel Carnahan’s devotion to public service. Jean Carnahan recounts her own introduction to the U.S. Senate, her struggle with the decision to vote against the confirmation of John Ashcroft as attorney general, her interactions with other senators, the loss of her Missouri farmhome to fire, a trip to Afghanistan, her reelection defeat in 2002, and countless other experiences that shaped her life and thought.

Don’t Let the Fire Go Out! is an intimate and revealing memoir of an extraordinary woman who overcame great tragedy to become the first woman from Missouri to serve as a United States senator. Resilient, intelligent, and charming, Jean Carnahan will inspire all who read her remarkable story.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jean Carnahan's is a remarkable story of triumph over tragedy. Don't Let the Fire Go Out! brings to light the remarkable woman I came to know in the U.S. Senate as a colleague, a friend, and a public servant in the truest sense. It is written in the voice of a woman who not only has an inspiring story to share, but a genuine gift in sharing it."— Senator Dianne Feinstein

"Never has one woman overcome adversity with such spirit, grace, and determination. Jean Carnahan's story is an inspiration to all of us and Don't Let the Fire Go Out! tells her story with wit, charm, and wisdom. It is a book everyone should read." — Ann Richards, former governor of Texas

"In 2000, Jean Carnahan was elected to the U.S. Senate as a substitute for her late husband. She was asked, Are you qualified to serve as a senator?' Without hesitation she responded, There are those who spent a lifetime underestimating my husband, and I suggest they not make that same mistake with me.' Make no mistake about it, Jean Carnahan is a remarkable woman with a remarkable life story—as a wife, a mother, a First Lady, a grieving widow, and a U.S. senator. It is a story written with great grace by a most gracious lady."—Thomas Eagleton, former senator from Missouri

To me the fire is a splendid metaphor for life. Sometimes raging and fervent, sometimes glowing softly and evenly, other times reduced to struggling embers. In her funeral oration, my daughter, Robin, told of her Dad starting a warm blaze in the fireplace on a cold morning. In his last words before leaving the house, he would admonish those remaining at home, Don't let the fire go out.' During the 2000 election, the phrase became the rallying cry for supporters wanting to revive what appeared to be a lost cause. Within days, a political campaign halted during a disastrous hour was transformed into a hopeful movement."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826215130
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Carnahan served as United States senator from January 3, 2001, to November 25, 2002. Author of several books, including If Walls Could Talk: The Story of Missouri’s First Families, she lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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