Going Rogue, An American Life, Sarah Palin
On September 3, 2008, Alaska Governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention that instantly made her one of the most recognizable women in the world.
As chief executive of America's largest state, she had built a record as a reformer who cast aside politics-as-usual and pushed through changes other politicians only talked about: energy independence, ethics reform and the biggest private sector infrastructure project in U. S. history. While revitalizing public school funding and ensuring the state met its responsibilities to seniors and Alaska Native populations, Palin also beat the "good ol' boys club" at their own game and brought Big Oil to heel.
Like her GOP running mate, John McCain, Palin wasn't a packaged and over produced candidate. She was a Main Street American woman: a working mom, the wife of a blue collar union man, and the mother of five children, the eldest of whom was serving his country in a year long deployment in Iraq, and the youngest, an infant with special needs.
But as the campaign unfolded, Palin became a lightening rod for both praise and criticism. Supporters called her refreshing and honest, opponents derided her as a wide eyed Pollyanna unprepared for national leadership. But none of them knew the real Sarah Palin.
In this memoir, Palin paints an intimate portrait of growing up in the wilds of Alaska, meeting her husband, her decision to enter politics, the importance of faith and family and the unique joys and trials of a high profile working mother.
Whether the reader agrees or disagrees with Sarah Palin politically is of little importance. She is, in my opinion, a very unique woman. Few women I know shoot caribou or catch fish for the family dinner table.
A Texan in England, J. Frank Dobie
It all happened this way. When Henry Steele Commanger came back from England after being the first to lecture under the newly founded professorship in American History at Cambridge University, he was asked to nominate another American to take up this particular white man's burden. When Mr. Dobie was invited he explained that he hadn't read the American Constitution since he was a boy and didn't understand it then, that he did know the length of longhorn steers, the way mother rattlesnakes swallow their young, the music inherant in coyote howling, the speed of the pacing white mustang and the smell of coffee boiling over a mesquite fire.
Professor Commanger replied that he was aware of Mr. Dobie's ignorance, but that he didn't need to know much history to teach it to novices. he said he could read a chapter in any American History book after breakfast and relay it that morning.
Well, it didn't come out quite that way, and here is Mr. Dobie's story of how it did come out, with some rather surprising conclusions. As Mr. Dobie says, "Only a fraction of me has ever homed in academic halls, only a fraction of this book will smell of them."
From our Texas bookshelves...
I well remember visiting Cambridge University Library, the vastness and mellow smell of those very old leather bound books.
See you at Rylander!