Category Archives: Book Review

BOOK CHALLENGES READER TO HELP DRAIN THE SWAMP

Those people who own the gold run the world.

This age-old adage certainly applies to Congress.

If you doubt this statement, read Elizabeth Warren’s latest book, “This Fight Is Our Fight: WARREN BOOK COVERThe Battle to Save America’s Middle Class,” 337 pages, Henry Holt and Company, 2017.

She documents the need to “drain the swamp” in a way never envisioned by Donald Trump so that members of a once-prosperous middle class have an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Warren grew up as a member of a hardscrabble family, attended college on a scholarship and “a dime,” reared a family, became a law professor, helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and since 2012 has represented citizens of Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate.

You probably won’t read this book if you are a Koch brother, a banker, a big business executive, a lobbyist, a Chamber of Commerce member or a Trump follower. I doubt, too, that you will set your bias aside long enough to read this book if you believe that a progressive like Warren is too liberal to speak on behalf of the middle-class.

Of course, as Warren documents, most of us know that the middle-class no longer carries much clout in the world of governance. The reason? It’s called money.

You need lots of the stuff to run for Congress. Guess where you get it: Deep Pockets.

What do Deep Pockets expect in return? Favorable legislation, limited oversight and accountability, tax breaks.

And as Warren documents, Deep Pockets also influence decisions by members of the U.S. Supreme Court. (pp. 202-206)

I set aside this book several times because it appears that the wealthy wield too much power in Congress to “drain the swamp” and to provide equal opportunity for interests of the middle class to be represented.

I found hope, however, when Warren reminded me that we all have a stake in governance.

She suggests our first fight “is to battle bigotry” in all of its forms.

Next, she says we should “say loud and clear that we will make the economy work for everyone—not just for the top 10 percent, but for everyone.”

The most difficult task, of course, will be draining the swamp of gold.

AUTHOR JOGS MY MEMORY ABOUT EARLY RISK-TAKING

ASH JOGGING

When I read A. Lynn Ash’s account about the challenges she confronted as the first woman jogger in the Running Capital of Eugene, my thoughts turned inward to the start of my collegiate running career in southern Missouri.

Lynn’s daring-do account of finding running shoes and then launching her running adventure on the streets of Eugene in the mid-1960s appears in  51PZhUn9CcL._SX346_BO1,204,203,200_“Eugeneana: Memoir of an Oregon Hometown,” just published.

Lynn revisits what she calls her “post-World War II growing up years in Eugene”and like most people who love a place and its people laments changes that she fears threaten and diminish the city’s charms.

She talks about the people and places important to her during her growing-up years and while attending the University of Oregon. After her professional career ended in California, she turned to her love of hiking and camping, which she writes about in two books. Meanwhile, she returned to Eugene.

For those of us who have known places like Tiny’s Tavern, Baldwin’s Market, the Pioneer Pageant, Webfeet, Don Essig and that North Eugene High School was built on a former filbert grove, the book refreshes and enhances memories of by-gone years.

Lynn says she can’t prove it but contends that she became the first woman jogger in Eugene during the 1960s when men were running all over the place. Continue reading AUTHOR JOGS MY MEMORY ABOUT EARLY RISK-TAKING