A FIGHTING CHANCE by Elizabeth Warren

A FIGHTING CHANCE

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this engaging memoir, Massachusetts Sen. Warren (co-author: All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan, 2005, etc.) introduces her family and recounts the battles that shaped her career as a teacher and politician.

Educated as a specialist in contract law, the author reshaped her career to become one of the country's leading experts in bankruptcy after the law was amended in 1981. Seeking to understand why people were going bankrupt in increasing numbers, Warren began to accumulate evidence contradicting the orthodox view that people seeking protection from creditors via the bankruptcy courts were deadbeats “who existed at the economic margins and would always be there.” She began to understand that bankruptcy was affecting ordinary middle-class people who found themselves unable to face the financial consequences of job loss, sickness or other personal catastrophes. These elements resonated within her own family: Her father lost his job and suffered repeated sicknesses, and her grandchildren have ongoing health issues. Warren pushed further to identify how credit-issuing institutions were taking advantage of consumers in manipulative ways. The expertise she developed led to a request for her to join the staff of a presidential commission on bankruptcy in 1995. The author uses her legal background, political knowledge gained from a succession of appointments involving bankruptcy law, an investigation into the financial crisis of 2008, and her proposal for a Consumer Finance Agency to provide intriguingly detailed information about the politics of bankruptcy, banking and credit. She introduces leading figures with whom her career has intersected, including Sen. Edward Kennedy and Congressman Barney Frank, and she shows how her continuing concerns with the financial plight of the middle class shaped her approach to the battles she felt called to fight. The book also covers her Massachusetts senatorial campaign.

A frankly partisan memoir that provides shrewd insights into both national politics and the state of the middle class.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-6277-9052-9
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Metropolitan/Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014




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