We're Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy

Harper. Sept. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9780062992260. $40. POL SCI
In this posthumous memoir, Cummings (D-MD) reflects on his final years in the U.S. House of Representatives before his death in October 2019. Beginning with a foreword by Nancy Pelosi, the narrative then moves on to recount how Cummings had hoped to work with the Trump administration in a bipartisan manner, which he later realized was not possible owing to obstruction. Although Cummings had a long political career, here he chooses to highlight his work during the Trump presidency, focusing on his time as Chair of the House Oversight Committee, which investigated prescription drug prices, family separation, and the Trump administration during his tenure. The politician includes lessons that he has learned throughout his life, including the importance of his faith, letting go of bitterness, and ensuring that people treated him with respect. Throughout, the congressman's dedication to civil service, desire to mentor younger generations, and admiration for his colleagues shines through. The book concludes as his widow, Maya, remembers his final days; also included are excerpts from eulogies given by prominent political figures.
VERDICT Moving insight into a remarkable man, which remains a touching tribute to his accomplishments in the later years of his life. Recommended for political aficionados.

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