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Publisher's Summary

How did a disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a thick New Jersey-Massachusetts accent become one of the most effective politicians of his time? In this candid and witty political memoir, Barney Frank relates his journey from the outskirts of New York City to Boston's City Hall and the Massachusetts legislature, and then to the US Congress, where he played a vital role in the struggle for personal freedom and economic fairness over four decades. With his trademark directness and insight, Frank explores the emotional toll of living in the closet and how he became the first member of Congress to disclose his homosexuality voluntarily. And he chronicles his lifelong struggle against inequality, which culminated in cowriting the most significant Wall Street regulations since the Great Depression. He also demonstrates how he used his rhetorical skills to expose his opponents's hypocrisies and delusions and details the endless favors, grudges, and fears that compose a legislator's career. From the Clinton impeachment to the economic meltdown of 2008 to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", Frank's words and deeds mattered, and Frank shows why. Here is a guide to how political change really happens, composed by a master of the art, and a testament to how Democrats, if they reject purism and passivity, can rebuild trust in an active government.
©2015 Barney Frank (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Spike the Untangler on 03-30-15


Where does Frank rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near or at the very top!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Frank?

I gained an appreciation for the man's talents as he rose in the House over a 40 year period of adversity and success through hard work and honesty to himself and his beliefs.

What does Barney Frank bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Barney is a tough slog but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I am so glad he read it himself. People reading the book in print are missing out terribly.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not a reasonable consideration. Although it might be a the kind of challenge comparable to reading Moby Dick once yearly in New Bedford.

Any additional comments?

I have always admired Barney Frank. I like him more than ever.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By DaWoolf on 04-03-15

Bluntly Entertaining

Barney Frank’s biography is a no holds barred tour de force overview of his 32 years as an elected representative. After just completing David Axelrod’s overly cautious autobiography, it was refreshing to read Frank’s take no prisoner’s bio. Frank is a gruff unapologetic left wing liberal who changed the culture of the country based on his progressive ideology. He admits to numerous mistakes, making many enemies, and taking pride in pissing off others. He was also one of the most effective members in the history of the House of Representatives who was the champion to the LBGT community.

The most interesting part of “Frank” is to witness his transition from a desperately closeted gay politician at the start of his career to the de facto LBGT spokesperson by the end of his 32 year reign. His energy and bare knuckles battling to protect the rights of others and fight all forms of discrimination for the LBGT community is inspiring and serves as an important history lesson. Frank also documents many political events he affected: Clinton Impeachment, Financial Reform, and Affirmative Action.

Overall, I was immensely entertained and educated by Frank. He provides insights to people, politics, and the political process that are unique and brutally honest. Frank also admits that his diction is very poor. Considering he narrates the book, this diction problem only adds to the character of the narrative.

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4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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