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This remarkable book – by turns moving, funny, and revelatory – records the relationship that developed between the women over the next twenty years. An empathic listener and participant in DeVries’ life, and a scholar of the feminist and disability rights movements, Frank argues that Diane DeVries is a perfect example of an American woman coming of age in the second half of the twentieth century.
The first Latin American actor to become a superstar, Ramon Novarro was for years one of Hollywood’s top actors. Born Ramon Samaniego to a prominent Mexican family, he arrived in America in 1916, a refugee from civil wars. By the mid-1920s, he had become one of MGM’s biggest box office attractions, starring in now-classic films, including The Student Prince, Mata Hari, and the original version of Ben-Hur. He shared the screen with the era’s top leading ladies, such as Greta Garbo, Myrna Loy, Joan Crawford, and Norma Shearer, and he became Rudolph Valentino’s main rival in the "Latin Lover" category.
How did a disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a thick accent become one of the most effective (and funniest) politicians of our time?
Growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey, the fourteen-year-old Barney Frank made two vital discoveries about himself: he was attracted to government, and to men. He resolved to make a career out of the first attraction and to keep the second a secret. Now, sixty years later, his sexual orientation is widely accepted, while his belief in government is embattled.
Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage is one man’s account of the country’s transformation–and the tale of a truly momentous career. Many Americans recall Frank’s lacerating wit, whether it was directed at the Clinton impeachment (“What did the president touch, and when did he touch it?”) or the pro-life movement (some people believe “life begins at conception and ends at birth”). But the contours of his private and public lives are less well-known. For more than four decades, he was at the center of the struggle for personal freedom and economic fairness. From the battle over AIDS funding in the 1980s to the debates over “big government” during the Clinton years to the 2008 financial crisis, the congressman from Massachusetts played a key role. In 2010, he coauthored the most far-reaching and controversial Wall Street reform bill since the era of the Great Depression, and helped bring about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
In this feisty and often moving memoir, Frank candidly discusses the satisfactions, fears, and grudges that come with elected office. He recalls the emotional toll of living in the closet and how his public crusade against homophobia conflicted with his private accommodation of it. He discusses his painful quarrels with allies; his friendships with public figures, from Tip O’Neill to Sonny Bono; and how he found love with his husband, Jim Ready, becoming the first sitting member of Congress to enter a same-sex marriage. He also demonstrates how he used his rhetorical skills to expose his opponents’ hypocrisies and delusions. Through it all, he expertly analyzes the gifts a successful politician must bring to the job, and how even Congress can be made to work.
Frank is the story of an extraordinary political life, an original argument for how to rebuild trust in government, and a guide to how political change really happens–composed by a master of the art.
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