A biography of the powerful--and colorful--Harlem congressman, depicting him with all his strengths and weaknesses. The spoiled, pampered son of the influential minister of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church had a strong desire to use his position to help the people of Harlem. Starting as a minister in his father's church, Powell soon became active in local politics; when the Harlem congressional district was created in 1944, he became its first (and, until 1970, its only) representative to Congress. Jakoubek points outhow Powell's often irritating (to segregationists and northern liberals) confrontational tactics helped break down barriers of discrimination and segregation. When he finally became chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, he was instrumental in pushing through much of the New Frontier and Great Society legislation. The issues that brought about Powell's expulsion from and later return to Congress in the late 60's are straightforwardly reported. A well-written, useful biography of an important American figure.