Purchase Books by Former Members
Keeping Faith in Congress: Why Persistence, Compassion and Teamwork will Save our Democracy
by Lois Capps
In 1996, Walter Capps won a seat in US House of Representatives. Less than a year later, he suffered a massive heart attack at Dulles Airport and died in his wife's arms. Lois Capps, a retired school nurse, decided just a few days later to run for her husband's seat. She won that election and went on to serve eight more terms in Congress, representing the central coast of California and advocating progressive causes.
In Keeping Faith in Congress, Lois Capps poignantly tells her story--of her husband's death and her decision to run, of her daughter's death to cancer just a few years later, of her efforts to work across the aisle, and of her work on behalf of her constituents.
No matter what personal or professional obstacles she faced, Representative Capps never lost faith in democracy. Instead, even the challenges taught her lessons. Now she shares those lessons, hoping that others can be inspired to work on behalf of the common good.
Free-Range Learning In the Digital Age: Your Path to Success in Life, Career, and College
By Peter Smith
With the emergence of the digital revolution, traditional educational assumptions and programs are being significantly disrupted. Historically, educational practices that attempted to bridge the gap between adults’ lives, college, and work were marginalized because our society was information-poor and they defied the dominant academic traditions. Now, the tables are turned. In our information-rich, digitized society, new technologies and data analytics are defining learning opportunities that were previously unimaginable. Free-Range Learning In the Digital Age: Your Path to Success in Life, Career, and College will define this new learning space and give the reader the awareness, knowledge, and tools to use it.
Presidents, Kings & Convicts
By Bob Clement
Professor-Politician: The Biography of Alabama Congressman Glen Browder
by the Hon. Glen Browder (D-AL) and Geni Certain
Professor-Politician challenges common depictions of politics as a constant struggle of good-versus-evil and heroes-versus-villains, with “dirty politics” usually winning. The truth is that good government can prevail in Montgomery and Washington. Journalist Geni Certain recounts Glen Browder’s civic adventures as one of Alabama’s prominent scholars and public officials over the past half-century. This is a story of practical and reform politics told by someone specially positioned to comment on Alabama government and American democracy. Certain interviewed knowledgeable people, researched public records, and scoured the Browder Collection at Jacksonville State University for this intriguing and inspiring biography of a civic-oriented leader. Includes an autobiographical essay by Glen Browder.
The South’s New Racial Politics
by the Hon. Glen Browder (D-AL)
The South’s New Racial Politics presents an original thesis about how blacks and whites in today’s South engage in a politics that is qualitatively different from the past. Glen Browder—as practitioner and scholar—argues that politicians of the two races now practice an open, sophisticated, biracial game that, arguably, means progress; but it also can bring out old-fashioned, cynical, and racist Southern ways. The lesson to be learned from this interpretative analysis is that the Southern political system, while still constrained by racial problems, is more functional than ever before. Southerners perhaps can now move forward in dealing with their legacy of hard history. (Based in part on interviews with former Members of the
Miriam’s Words: The Personal Price of Public Life
by Mary Lou Judd Carpenter (daughter of Walter Judd (R-MN)
The book is a collection of real time writings and letters of a Congressman’s wife, brought together by their daughter. It’s not easy being married to a public figure. The wife is expected to defer to the demands of the office or the campaign or the Mission. So it was with Miriam Judd, married to an indomitable force of nature named Walter Judd. But she was a strong woman in her own right, possessed of a deep faith and a sharp sense of humor. Like the bamboo, she bent with the wind when necessary and when the storm was over, she stood uprights. As the child of missionaries in India, going to China in the 1930 with Dr. Judd and starting a family there seemed natural to her, even in the midst of a civil war between the Nationalist Chinese and the Chinese Communists, with a few bandits thrown in. However, as Mary Lou will recount, politics was a different kind of mission that created new and unexpected challenges and tensions.
Rough Edges: My Unlikely Road from Welfare to Washington
by former Member Judge James Rogan (R-CA)
Raised by a single mom on welfare and food stamps, the author of this colorful and engaging autobiography dropped out of high school and misspent his youth hanging out with druggie friends and touring the fleshpots of L.A. as a bartender and porn theater bouncer. Perhaps not surprisingly, given his penchant for busting up inappropriate public trysts, he wound up a conservative Republican Congressman prosecuting Bill Clinton’s impeachment case. The byproduct of this surprising career trajectory is [this] rare politician’s memoir . There is… a political subtext that occasionally surfaces as glib Republican boilerplate. In describing his political journey from youthful admirer of Hubert Humphrey to Reaganite conservative, he invokes his street cred as a scion of the working class to justify right-wing policy nostrums on welfare reform and school vouchers. But he mostly keeps the ideology in the background and his outrageous stories and warm, self-deprecating authorial voice up front. Summary from Amazon.com.
Political Rules of the Road: Representatives, Senators, and Presidents Share Their Rules for Success in Congress, Politics, and Life.
FMC’s most recent publication, in cooperation with the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government, is a unique compilation of the lessons learned by those who served in Congress. Many Association members contributed to this book, reflecting the spirit and wisdom of the FMC membership.
Una vida para la igualidad (A Life for Equality)
By Antonio Quiñones Calderón
Carlos Romero-Barceló, former Mayor of San Juan and Governor of Puerto Rico has just published the first of his two-part biography, “Un vida para la Igualidad” (A Life for Equality), researched and authored by Antonio Quiñones Calderón. The book features Carlos’ lifelong pursuit of statehood for Puerto Rico since he entered local politics in the 1960’s when the first Puerto Rico plebiscite was held. This event coincides with Carlos’s 80th birthday and the establishment of the Carlos Romero-Barceló Diabetes and Treatment Center. Published in Spanish for now at $49.99, it will be followed by an English translation at a later date. Kindly make checks or money orders payable to the order of Carlos Romero-Barceló, PO Box 364351, San Juan, PR, 00936-4351. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch
By the Hon. Bill Sarpalius ( D-TX)
As a boy in Houston, Bill Sarpalius, his brothers, and their mother lived an itinerant life. Bill dug food out of trashcans, and he and his brothers moved from one school to the next. They squatted in a vacant home while their mother, affectionately called “Honey,” battled alcoholism and suicidal tendencies. In an act of desperation, she handed her three sons over to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch north of Amarillo.
At the time, Bill was thirteen years old and could not read. Life at Boys Ranch had its own set of harrowing challenges, however. He found himself living in fear of some staff and older boys. He became involved in Future Farmers of America and discovered a talent for public speaking. When he graduated, he had a hundred dollars and no place to go. He worked hard, earned a scholarship from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and obtained a college degree. After a brief career as a teacher and in agribusiness, he won a seat in the Texas Senate. Driven by the memory of his suffering mother, he launched the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in an effort to help people struggling with addiction.
Sarpalius later served in the United States Congress. As a Lithuanian American, he took a special interest in that nation’s fight for independence from the Soviet Union. For his efforts, Sarpalius received the highest honor possible to a non-Lithuanian citizen and was named a “Grand Duke.”
The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch is a unique political memoir—the story of a life full of unlikely paths that is at once heartbreaking and inspirational.
Shapeholders: Business Success
by Hon. Mark R. Kennedy
Congress, Presidents, and American Politics
By Lee H. Hamilton
When Lee H. Hamilton joined Congress in 1965 as a US Representative from southern Indiana, he began writing commentaries for his constituents describing his experiences, impressions, and developing views of what was right and wrong in American politics. He continued to write regularly throughout his 34 years in office and up to the present. Lively and full of his distinctive insights, Hamilton’s essays provide vivid accounts of national milestones over the past fifty years: from the protests of the Sixties, the Vietnam War, and the Great Society reforms, through the Watergate and Iran-Contra affairs, to the post-9/11 years as the vice chairman of the 9/11 commission. Hamilton offers frank and sometimes surprising reflections on Congress, the presidency, and presidential character from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama. He argues that there are valuable lessons to be learned from past years, when Congress worked better than it does now. Offering history, politics, and personal reflections all at once, this book will appeal to everyone interested in understanding America of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Lee H. Hamilton served Indiana in the US House of Representatives from 1965 to 1999. He is founding director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University and past president and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center. One of the nation’s foremost experts on Congress, foreign policy, intelligence, and national security, he served as vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, co-chairman of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, and a member of the CIA External Advisory Board. He continues to play a leading role in public affairs and is currently a member of the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. Hamilton is Professor of Practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Distinguished Scholar in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. He is author of How Congress Works and Why You Should Care (IUP, 2004) and Strengthening Congress (IUP, 2009).
Revenue Matters: Tax the Rich and Restore Democracy to Save the Nation
by The Hon. Berkley Bedell (D-IA)
This book is a wake up call to the American people that TOGETHER WE CAN make the necessary changes to bring prosperity and global respect to the United States. A critical step is ending the monopoly of economic and political power exercised by a small minority of wealthy Americans. To purchase this book, please click here.
by the Hon. Glen Browder (D-AL)
America seems to have little sense of how the Civil Rights Movement actually played into southern politics over the remainder of the twentieth Century. The common vision is a monolithic struggle between heroes and villains, depicted literally and figuratively in black and white. Unfortunately, this conception provides incomplete explanation for subsequent progress in the southern political system. Stealth Reconstruction reveals that, amid all the heroic history of that time, there is a fascinating story of “stealth reconstruction” – i.e., the unheroic, quiet, practical, biracial work of some white politicians and black leaders, a story untold and unknown until now. (Based in part on interviews with former Members of the U.S. Congress.) To purchase this book, click here.
The Future of American Democracy
by the Hon. Glen Browder (D-AL)
Can the United States–a nation of growing cultural diversity, with increasingly divergent ideals, values, and principles of governance–continue its collective pursuit of freedom, equality, and justice within the traditional framework of limited, representative government? Veteran public official and political scientist Glen Browder addresses this question in The Future of American Democracy. This book will speak to attentive citizens in the U.S. and abroad who are involved in analyzing, studying, and teaching American democracy and people who are involved as participants in the workings of American government and politics.
The Parties Versus the People
by the Hon. Mickey Edwards (R-OK)
In this critically important book, a distinguished statesman and thinker identifies exactly how our political and governing systems reward intransigence, discourage compromise, and undermine our democracy. He then describes exactly what must be done to banish the negative effects of partisan warfare from our political system. As a former congressman, Mickey Edwards witnessed firsthand how important legislative battles can devolve into struggles not over principle but over party advantage. He offers graphic examples of how this problem has intensified and reveals how political battles have become nothing more than conflicts between party machines. Edwards’s solutions—specific, practical, fair, and original—show the way to break the stranglehold of the political party system. The Parties Versus the People offers hope for a fundamental renewal of American democracy.
America’s Wasted Talent: A New Ecology of Learning
By the Hon. Peter Smith (R-VT)
Harnessing America’s Wasted Talent: A New Ecology of Learning presents a new frame of reference coupled with research and experience which support a dramatically different view of the causes and consequences of college failure, as well as the changes needed to support learning in the 21st century. This view recognizes that in far too many cases failure is a result of the way colleges operate, their tradition and history. Failure in the current system is, in many cases, not indicative of learners’ capacity to learn. Happily, however, there are solutions on the horizon. Our capacity to support, encourage, and recognize learning has not only grown dramatically in the last 20 years, it has also been transformed into a new ecology of learning.
In Tune With America: Our History in Song
by the Hon. George Nethercutt (R-WA)
In Tune With America: Our History in Song, melds music and words to tell a story of hope—a hope that today’s Americans will focus on the lessons of United States history; the significant events, the trials and tribulations, the outstanding leaders and heroic acts, all of them part of America’s great story. This book is a gateway to better citizenship, showing how the United States has achieved its unique position in the world economically, socially and politically. It is also fun, filled with less-known parts of well-known songs, representing American music which, like the American people, is rich and diverse. In Tune With Americaputs readers in tune with the American dream. It can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Marquette Books and the George Nethercutt Foundation (see www.nethercuttfoundation.org).
Capitol Steps And Missteps: The Wild, Improbable Ride Of Congressman John Jenrette
Book on the Hon. John Jenrette
by John F. Clark (author) and Cookie Miller (contributor)
“This book is dedicated to John Jenrette, John is, and always has been, an intelligent, charming, kind, energetic, hardworking, progressive thinking, well-meaning individual. He is funny and personable and has always, delighted in being able to help others. His life did not turn out as it should have, nor as he hoped it would. He never received proper critic for his accomplishments as Congressman, or as a state legislator, or for that matter, as a convincing courtroom lawyer and as a sometimes masterful businessman. At a time when enlightened Southern leaders were in short supply, he stood out as one of the few who seemed destined for greater things. John Jenrette’s past difficulties should not obscure what we see as a basic goodness of a man. Yes there were missteps along the way-plenty of them, but we were also witness to John’s many strengths and qualities. We hope they will be evident to readers.”
– John Clark and Cookie Miller
Life in the Marble Palace (In Praise of Folly)
By Cliff Stearns
A former Republican congressman recalls a lifetime of public service. Much of the book serves as an instructive primer on American governance, an insider’s civic tutorial. Stearns not only explains the basic structure of the nation’s legislative branch—with emphasis on the function of the House—but also the mechanics of fund-raising and campaigning, the extraordinary significance of committee membership, and the often mercenary character of intraparty competition. The author unabashedly shares his opinion, even when it’s forcefully critical of a colleague; he excoriates Dennis Hastert’s reign as speaker of the House, especially for his misguided contributions to the economic catastrophe that visited the country at the conclusion of George W. Bush’s presidency. Stearns also denounces the Bush administration’s bailout of the banking industry, a strategy, the author contends, that undermines the Republican Party’s commitment to free market principles. (Stearns takes a hard stand against both socialism and Keynesian economics, which share the aggrandizement of government at the expense of individual liberty.) Some of the remembrances are directed analytically at special policy proposals (ObamaCare turns out to be incorrigibly bad) or major events in recent political history (President Bill Clinton’s impeachment and the Iraq War provide fodder for memorable discussions). But some of the best of Stearns’ ruminations are surprisingly erudite—he often cites intellectual luminaries like Aristotle, Kant, Seneca, and Herodotus, to name a few—and philosophical. He deeply ponders the nature of freedom and divine law, and the relation both have to the fallible dictates of majority rule. Even for those who count themselves the author’s ideological adversaries, this work delivers a thoughtful appraisal of American democracy and an edifying peek into the corridors of political power. An assemblage of admirably forthcoming first-person essays about the practice of American legislation.
The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis
By Tom Davis and Martin Frost
Martin Frost and Tom Davis are uniquely qualified to examine how constant conflict in Washington keeps too many good things from happening. The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis is a smart book that asks the right questions and offers some intriguing solutions.” — President Bill Clinton During their 40 years in Congress, Martin Frost and Tom Davis were the field generals for their respective parties, each serving two terms as chair of the Democratic and Republican House campaign committees. Now they have joined forces — along with columnist Richard Cohen — in an effort to save Congress from itself. According to the authors, Congress is incapable of reforming itself without a good kick in the seat from the American public. Frost and Davis, with great insight and skill, along with a wealth of anecdotes and photos, dissect the causes of legislative gridlock and offer a common sense, bipartisan plan for making our Congress function again
Jackhammered: A Life of Adventure
by the Hon. Ed Bethune (R-AR)
Jackhammered is a story of hope and redemption, told with candor by a man who had a complicated childhood, joined the Marines when he was 18, became a special agent of the FBI, and then a prosecuting attorney. In 1978, against all odds, Ed Bethune won a seat in the United States House of Representatives. His story is unlike any memoir you have ever read because it tells of a young life nearly lost, a love found, and a lifelong struggle to wash away troubles by living out dreams of adventure. His successes–in politics, in the courtroom defending the poorest of the poor, and as a high profile ethics lawyer for Speaker Newt Gingrich and Majority Leader Tom DeLay–soothe his quest for identity. But it is not until he and his wife encounter a fearsome storm while trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a 31-foot sailboat that he solves the riddle that has haunted him all his life. To purchase this book, click here.
Speaking Out: A Congressman’s Lifelong Fight Against Bigotry, Famine, and War
by the Hon. Paul Findley (R-IL)
In his twenty-two years as an Illinois congressman and in the years since he left office, Paul Findley has fought to eradicate famine, end wars, and eliminate bigotry in U.S. foreign policy. This sweeping political memoir opens with Findley’s early days in rural Pittsfield, Illinois, and chronicles his service during six administrations in Washington. His many accomplishments in Congress include authoring the Famine Prevention Act, coauthoring the 1973 War Powers Resolution, leading agricultural trade missions to the Soviet Union and China, and strongly opposing the Vietnam War. This autobiography is also a no-holds-barred critique of Israel’s lobby and its toll on the national interests of the United States.
Across the Aisle: the Seven-Year Journey of the Historic Montgomery GI Bill
by the Hon. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery (D-MS)
Using gentle humor, some 450 visuals, and debate drawn from actual legislative events, the late U.S. Congressman G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery helps readers relive the Montgomery GI Bill’s 1987 enactment, while learning each step of the way. Across the Aisle‘s extensive illustrative material brings the legislative process alive, as readers travel the historic legislative road with Congressman Montgomery himself as escort, storyteller, mentor, and colleague. Montgomery’s unique first-person account brings Washington, D.C., and lawmaking alive with enduring lessons in leadership, persuasion, civility, and that timeless virtue–perseverance.
Catching Our Flag: Behind the Scenes of a Presidential Impeachment
by former Member Judge James Rogan (R-CA)
It has been more than a dozen years since the media force-fed America and the world a steady diet of Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress, a wagging presidential finger, and parsing phrases like “the meaning of ‘is.'” Now, Jim Rogan has opened this archive for both modern readers and for history by penning the ultimate insider’s story on what led a very reluctant House of Representatives to impeach a then-very popular American president. From his first day on the House Judiciary Committee, Rogan knew if the scandal ever led to impeachment proceedings, future accounts would suffer from faulty memories or faulty motives. To combat the threat of factual or historical error, Rogan kept copious notes during every significant meeting relating to impeachment from his first day on the Committee. He did this so there would be a complete and accurate historical chronicle – – the best evidence – – of what really happened behind the scenes in the unfolding drama. This historically important archive is unmatched in its thoroughness and integrity.