Reclaiming Her Time: The Power of Maxine Waters

Dey St: HarperCollins. Oct. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780062992031. $26.99. BIOG
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) boasts both political longevity and a relentless capacity to continue to adapt, challenge, and inspire. Thomas (Here for It), creator of the Auntie Maxine meme, collaborates with Washington Post reporter Andrews-Dyer to capture the energy—and urgency—of Waters with an addictive, fully illustrated read brimming with quotations. The authors set out to “disrupt the cultural practice of flattening Black women” by telling the story of Waters and her life in politics with care and nuance, offering a fully realized portrait that is complex, multifarious, and personal. The narrative tells of Waters’s childhood in St. Louis, MO, the fifth of 13 children, and how school became her sanctuary. It then effortlessly transitions to her first marriage and subsequent move to California, where working at Head Start led to a renewed sense of purpose. Informative time lines help readers navigate pivotal moments in her life and career, as the conversational tone moves readers through the decades, pointing out Waters’s highs and lows, including her efforts on the House Financial Services Committee.
VERDICT In turn both entertaining yet serious, this informal biography will especially engage political buffs but also general readers of excellent biography.
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