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Renegade for Peace and Justice: Congresswoman Barbara Lee Speaks for Me

by Barbara Lee

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Hailed as an honest, candid political memoir in a genre more often characterized by slick, self-serving campaign biographies, this book captures Barbara Lee's extraordinary life and political career from her early upbringing in El Paso, Texas, through her years in Oakland, California, with the Black Panther Party, to her service in the U.S. Congress. In a new Afterword to the paper edition, Lee pays tribute to the Congressional Black Caucus, for which she serves as chair during the 111th Congress, and reflects on the challenges that continue to face our nation at home and abroad.… (more)

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This is a very interesting book which is both a biography of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and the story of her efforts to make the world a better place by fighting many forms of injustice. Instead of being an autobiography in chronological order, different chapters concern different social and/or political problems; Ms. Lee explains how life experiences have influenced her understanding and views of the problems. This approach does create some repetition since some of the issues are interrelated. Ms. Lee also shows how her religious faith has helped her through times of stress; she quotes the Bible several times. Probably the most stressful event of her political career was when Congresswoman Lee was the only person to vote against the resolution giving George Bush unlimited power to use force after 9/11; she received so many death threats that she was heavily guarded following it.

At times the book gets bogged down when Ms. Lee is discussing specific laws which she sponsored or supported.

This book was published in 2008 prior to Obama’s election. Ms. Lee had high hopes for Obama’s presidency; it would be interesting to have an update. ( )
  sallylou61 | May 10, 2013 |
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Hailed as an honest, candid political memoir in a genre more often characterized by slick, self-serving campaign biographies, this book captures Barbara Lee's extraordinary life and political career from her early upbringing in El Paso, Texas, through her years in Oakland, California, with the Black Panther Party, to her service in the U.S. Congress. In a new Afterword to the paper edition, Lee pays tribute to the Congressional Black Caucus, for which she serves as chair during the 111th Congress, and reflects on the challenges that continue to face our nation at home and abroad.

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