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Overview

The first time Madeleine M. Kunin ran for office it was because she thought there ought to be more women in politics. In time she fulfilled that belief by becoming the first woman governor of Vermont. Throughout her career, Kunin found that the rules for women politicians were different: she would not be forgiven (nor would she forgive herself) for neglecting her family. She could not afford to display emotion at the wrong times lest she be thought "weak." And she would have to learn to play political hardball ...
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Living a Political Life

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Overview

The first time Madeleine M. Kunin ran for office it was because she thought there ought to be more women in politics. In time she fulfilled that belief by becoming the first woman governor of Vermont. Throughout her career, Kunin found that the rules for women politicians were different: she would not be forgiven (nor would she forgive herself) for neglecting her family. She could not afford to display emotion at the wrong times lest she be thought "weak." And she would have to learn to play political hardball with the best of them while keeping her integrity.

In Living a Political Life, Kunin-who is now Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education-takes a frank look at the challenges that confronted her as she tried not just to succeed in politics but to set a precedent for other women. In doing so, she illuminates both what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a public servant and gives us a memoir as thoughtful and revealing as any to emerge from the corridors of power.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

One of America's first woman governors shows that women can succeed and make a difference in politics without sacrificing their values. Kunin's memoir ranges from her apprenticeship as a small-town newspaper reporter, wife, and mother, to her decision to leave state politics after almost two decades of service and achievement.

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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
Now a Deputy Secretary in the U.S. government, Kunin tells her story wich includes only passing references to the fact that she is Jewish. Most of the emphasis is on blazing a trail as a woman in the Democratic party of Vermont.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The first female governor of Vermont and current deputy secretary of the department of education, Kunin writes a thoughtful memoir of her political career and the role of women in public office. (Mar.)
Library Journal
As the first female governor of Vermont, Kunin tells a story that illustrates the unique experiences of women in politics over the last 20 years. This memoir of her life in the Vermont state legislature and eventually the governor's office, where she served three terms, is full of insights into both her own personal journey and that of women politicians in general. Kunin's book is much more revealing and much more down to earth than another recent political autobiography, Barbara Boxer's Strangers in the Senate ( LJ 12/93). Proud of her successes, Kunin is also honest in describing her difficulties in dealing with the male power structure. A good choice for women's studies and political science collections and libraries with a regional interest. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/93.-- Pamela R. Daubenspeck, Warren-Trumbull Cty. P.L., Warren, Ohio
Alice Joyce
For anyone unfamiliar with President Clinton's deputy secretary of education, Kunin offers a warm, intimate memoir summing up her political life and unabashedly revealing the insecurities that she had to fight against, first as a state representative and then as three-term governor of Vermont. Thankfully, Kunin can also bask in the legislative triumphs that marked her tenures as officeholder. She is more than capable of enjoying her place in the history books, and when presenting the special challenges faced by a woman in the political arena, her book makes for very compelling reading. This is an eloquent and honest account of the concerns that drove her to enter politics, marked in many ways by her early experience in a Jewish immigrant family that came to the U.S. to escape Hitler. Kunin's book should help restore belief in the existence of politicians who actually care about issues and are willing to stand up for their beliefs with integrity and courage.
From the Publisher
"In elegant and enlightening prose, Kunin...tries to understand the interplay of family, gender, and her pursuit of power.... [Her] forthright offering expands our understanding of who can be a success in politics." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"An honest book by an unusually introspective and literate politician." -- Washington Post Book World

"Madeleine Kunin speaks for all women who try to do it all. Her story. is our story ....She does it well, both the living and the telling."

-- Newsweek

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307801890
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/27/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • File size: 3 MB

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