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.
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