Of greatest interest to those who knew Sidney Wise—but also a poignant reminder of a more civil political era.

THE WISE LEGACY

HOW ONE PROFESSOR TRANSFORMED THE NATION

This tribute volume collects statements from and interviews with students, colleagues, relatives, and friends of Sidney Wise, an influential professor.

Sidney Wise was Charles A. Dana Professor of Government at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Upon Wise’s retirement in 1989, Rep. William H. Gray, a former student, paid tribute to him in the House, noting that “Dr. Sidney Wise represents the highest ideal of the small college teacher.” An engaging and inspiring professor, Sid was also known for helping to establish the system of political internships, a new idea at the time. Says a colleague, “As far as I’m concerned, [Sid Wise] invented networking.” Included in Wise’s network were many prominent figures in law, politics, business, and other fields. Those interviewed for this volume include Gray, Kenneth M. Duberstein (President Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff), Alfred Zuck (former assistant secretary of labor), and many others. Through his interviews, Siegel (Android Apps in One Hour for Lawyers, 2013, etc.) makes a broad, persuasive case for Wise’s contributions as a professor and mentor. Although Wise was a committed Democrat, students might leave his class never knowing his affiliation, and he helped students get into leadership positions regardless of party lines (and regardless of race or sex). Several contributors note that for Wise, politics was “the art of the possible,” practiced with a view toward compromise and, above all, civility. An undernote throughout this volume is rueful recognition of how unhappy Wise would be to see today’s deadlocked, partisan bickering. Also recalled in these pages are Wise’s love of film and his warm, gregarious nature. There is some repetition in these accounts and little consideration, given the celebratory nature of this book, of the troublesome side of networking and internships. But, as colleague John Vanderzell says, “to know Sidney was to love him,” and Siegel’s interviews make plain why this is so. The book itself is a labor of love and stands as a fine tribute to an unforgettable man.

Of greatest interest to those who knew Sidney Wise—but also a poignant reminder of a more civil political era.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-1507625590

Page Count: 254

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2015

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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