Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power

Twelve Books. Apr. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9781538750698. $32.50. BIOG
As the first woman elected to a leadership position in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has made history. But, as best-selling author Page (The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty) shows, Pelosi’s standing as Speaker of the House and within the Democratic Party is also proof of her ability to remain in leadership through four presidents and during multiple national security, financial, and political crises. Page provides a full biographical history of Pelosi, showing that her childhood as the daughter of a powerful Maryland politician planted the roots for her mastery of political tactics. Based on interviews with dozens of Pelosi’s colleagues, including opponents, Page describes intriguing behind-the-scenes anecdotes showing her skillful efforts to produce landmark legislation on controversial topics. The author examines Pelosi’s congressional and leadership record in detail and offers insight into the Speaker’s relationship with her party, especially newer progressive members of the Democratic Caucus. Page also devotes attention to the contentious relationship between Speaker Pelosi and former President Trump. Featuring interviews with Pelosi herself, this account offers a more insider-y perspective than Molly Ball’s 2020 biography of the Speaker, though each book can stand alone.
VERDICT Page has written a comprehensive biography of Pelosi that follows her entire career in politics and describes how early family experiences influenced her policies and political leadership style.
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