Granny D's American Century

Overview

With her walk across America at the age of 90, New Hampshire native Doris Haddock entered the national consciousness as “Granny D,” a candid and feisty champion of commonsense populist politics. Four years later she ran for the U.S. Senate against the usual entrenched big-party interests—and lost. In the meantime, she became a cause célèbre, and an example of the kind of politics that puts people first. Granny D’s American Century is the story of Doris Haddock both before and after these events: as a young woman ...
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Granny D's American Century

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Overview

With her walk across America at the age of 90, New Hampshire native Doris Haddock entered the national consciousness as “Granny D,” a candid and feisty champion of commonsense populist politics. Four years later she ran for the U.S. Senate against the usual entrenched big-party interests—and lost. In the meantime, she became a cause célèbre, and an example of the kind of politics that puts people first. Granny D’s American Century is the story of Doris Haddock both before and after these events: as a young woman whose bedrock New England values were tested during the Great Depression, and as a no-nonsense nonagenarian putting those values to work in the causes of voters’ rights, women’s rights, and campaign finance reform.

Written in a clear, unsparing prose, Granny D’s American Century is a warm reflection on a life well lived, and a clear and spirited call for virtue in American civic life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Opening with an exhortation to readers to “make fresh trouble, today” celebrated troublemaker Haddock details, in a folksy memoir, her naïve youth in the years around the Great Depression and recaps her political agitation efforts leading up to the 2008 recession. Haddock, who died in 2010 at age 100, was once an aspiring actress and achieved fame and international recognition many decades later as “Granny D” by spending the year 1999 walking across the country publicizing election reform; in 2004 she ran unsuccessfully for Senate in her native New Hampshire . Strikingly nonjudgmental—except toward a promiscuous friend she defined as an “easy lay”—but also a vital life force, Haddock contrasts the 1920s with the early 2000s through anecdotes, as she surrounds herself with colorful artists, reformers, and struggling families in both eras even as she meets with TV’s Matt Lauer and calls Jimmy Carter for a favor. Her amusing exploits in a sputtering van during a political junket highlight her faith in government’s potential to help the misfits, immigrants, and the underserved. Writing with Burke, who coauthored her account of the 1999 cross-country walk, and often omitting chronological benchmarks, the rap-loving Haddock sometimes appears to be the only one with any wisdom in this entertaining historical and political memoir. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Strikingly nonjudgmental . . . but also a vital life force, Haddock contrasts the 1920s with the early 2000s through anecdotes, as she surrounds herself with colorful artists, reformers, and struggling families in both eras even as she meets with TV’s Matt Lauer and calls Jimmy Carter for a favor. Her amusing exploits in a sputtering van during a political junket highlight her faith in government’s potential to help the misfits, immigrants, and the underserved. . . . [An] entertaining historical and political memoir.” —Publishers Weekly

“Haddock’s early experiences shaped her innate sense of fairness and freedom and infused her with an intrepid belief in both herself and her country. Written with an unfettered ease (and help from her longtime coauthor Burke) that belied her 100 years, Haddock’s reflections on a life lived to the fullest are a galvanizing and gratifying portrait of a true public servant.”—Booklist

“What exactly was this woman made of? She and co-author Dennis MichaelBurke answer some of these questions in her friendly, next-door-neighbor book Granny D’s American Century.”—Keene Sentinel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611682342
  • Publisher: University of New Hampshire Press
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,473,625
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A lifelong resident of New Hampshire, DORIS “GRANNY D” HADDOCK is the subject of the documentary film Run, Granny, Run! and the author, with DENNIS MICHAEL BURKE, of Walking Across America in My 90th Year. She died in 2010. Dennis Michael Burke, the former director of Arizona Common Cause, is a writer living in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Full Measure
Steaming into Life: 1928
The Birthplace of Liberty, Including My Own
Castles and Princes
At Sea
Bubbles Burst
Jim’s Girl
The Bohemians
Surviving by Our Wits
The Main Course of Life
Back to Harvard
On the Road Again
Alligators, Mermaids, Etcetera
Wake Up and Live
From the Very Balcony
Finding Life Everywhere
The Wind Shifts
Shared Courage
A Campaign from Our Town
Lessons from My Century
Last Delivered Speech
Last Undelivered Speech
Closing Note to the Reader
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