978-0-8362-3707-8 / 9780836237078

24 Years of Housework...and the Place Is Still a Mess: My Life in Politics


Publisher:Andrews Mcmeel Pub



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About the book:

Pat Schroeder's memoir of 24 years in politics is so enthusiastic it is easy to forget how difficult her work must have been. She was Colorado's first congresswoman and one of only 14 female representatives to the House when she was elected in 1972. "The women in Congress had to wage virtually every battle alone," she remembers of those early years, "whether we were fighting for female pages (there were none) or a place where we could pee."

Schroeder takes on a lot in this book; sometimes she barely skims the surface as she tries to fit tales of politics, childhood, family life, and her opinions on a thousand disparate issues into less than 250 pages. Nevertheless, as one of our longest serving female politicians, her story of life in American politics is a welcome change from the usual political guy-ographies. Who else can write about being a congresswoman under Nixon, Reagan (whom she famously called the "Teflon President"), and Clinton? Or tell of working for women's equal rights back when there was opposition from "Ladies Against Women," who wore pins that read "I'd rather be ironing"?

This is an optimistic book, a reminder of the possibility of change through politics. "Cynics claim we get the government we deserve," says Schroeder. "I say we deserve better, but we will get it only if we act." It will speak in particular to women, whom Schroeder directly urges to take the torch she is passing on. "Consider this a postcard from the front," she writes. "Wish you were here." She almost makes it sound like fun. -- Maria Dolan

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