FATHER AND SON: A Personal Biography of Senator Frank Church of Idaho by His Son by F. Forrester Church

FATHER AND SON: A Personal Biography of Senator Frank Church of Idaho by His Son

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The life of Senator Frank Church evokes admiration even in those who disagreed with his politics. In a time of me-ism, he seems a throwback to the staunch virtues of an earlier, saner day. Unflinchingly honest, direct, eloquent and with a commitment to his constituents in Idaho and the world, he had a preternaturally clear view of America's proper and historic role. Here, his son traces his career and discusses their sometimes difficult relationship, one that was finally blessed with mutual love and appreciation. Diagnosed as having terminal cancer at 23, Church made a miraculous recovery and lived the rest of his life with an awareness of death that made him take chances and stand tall for just causes. His son, now a minister in New York City, clearly loved his father and tries to relate the similarities and differences in their lives. However, as we yearn for the presence of a great actor when he steps off-stage, so we are restless when the Senator's son talks of his own life. He means well, but the Senator is the man we crave to know more about; those in his shadow are less intriguing. There will be thorough biographies of this Western man of conscience. For now, the touching family scenes and the spectacle of public life in this modest book are worth the attention of any serious reader. Church was defeated for re-election in 1980, after serving four terms. He died a few years later. It is typical of the man that he left office with $7,000, his scrupulous concern for honesty intact, his plain, unpretentious life-style determinedly out-of-place with the puffed-up glamour of today's Washington. We owe his son a debt of gratitude for reminding us.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1985
Publisher: Harper & Row