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Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir

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The female senator from Missouri shares her inspiring story of embracing her ambition, surviving sexist slings, making a family, losing a husband, outsmarting her enemies—and finding joy along the way. Claire McCaskill grew up in a political family, but not at a time that welcomed women with big plans. She earned a law degree and paid her way through school by working as a The female senator from Missouri shares her inspiring story of embracing her ambition, surviving sexist slings, making a family, losing a husband, outsmarting her enemies—and finding joy along the way. Claire McCaskill grew up in a political family, but not at a time that welcomed women with big plans. She earned a law degree and paid her way through school by working as a waitress. By 1982 Claire had set her sights on the Missouri House of Representatives. Typically, one voter whose door she knocked on said: “You’re too young; your hair is too long; you’re a girl….Go find yourself a husband.” That door was slammed in her face, but Claire always kept pushing—first as a prosecutor of arsonists and rapists and then all the way to the door of a cabal of Missouri politicians who had secret meetings to block her legislation. In this candid, lively, and forthright memoir, Senator McCaskill describes her uphill battle to become who she is today, from her failed first marriage to a Kansas City car dealer—the father of her three children—to her current marriage to a Missouri businessman whom she describes as “a life partner.” She depicts her ups and downs with the Clintons, her long-shot reelection as senator after secretly helping to nominate a right-wing extremist as her opponent, and the fun of joining the growing bipartisan sisterhood in the Senate. From the day she was elected homecoming queen in high school, Claire has loved politics and winning. Her memoir is unconventional: unsparing in its honesty, full of sharp humor and practical wisdom, and rousing in its defense of female ambition.


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The female senator from Missouri shares her inspiring story of embracing her ambition, surviving sexist slings, making a family, losing a husband, outsmarting her enemies—and finding joy along the way. Claire McCaskill grew up in a political family, but not at a time that welcomed women with big plans. She earned a law degree and paid her way through school by working as a The female senator from Missouri shares her inspiring story of embracing her ambition, surviving sexist slings, making a family, losing a husband, outsmarting her enemies—and finding joy along the way. Claire McCaskill grew up in a political family, but not at a time that welcomed women with big plans. She earned a law degree and paid her way through school by working as a waitress. By 1982 Claire had set her sights on the Missouri House of Representatives. Typically, one voter whose door she knocked on said: “You’re too young; your hair is too long; you’re a girl….Go find yourself a husband.” That door was slammed in her face, but Claire always kept pushing—first as a prosecutor of arsonists and rapists and then all the way to the door of a cabal of Missouri politicians who had secret meetings to block her legislation. In this candid, lively, and forthright memoir, Senator McCaskill describes her uphill battle to become who she is today, from her failed first marriage to a Kansas City car dealer—the father of her three children—to her current marriage to a Missouri businessman whom she describes as “a life partner.” She depicts her ups and downs with the Clintons, her long-shot reelection as senator after secretly helping to nominate a right-wing extremist as her opponent, and the fun of joining the growing bipartisan sisterhood in the Senate. From the day she was elected homecoming queen in high school, Claire has loved politics and winning. Her memoir is unconventional: unsparing in its honesty, full of sharp humor and practical wisdom, and rousing in its defense of female ambition.

30 review for Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    It pains me to give this book just three stars since I am Senator McCaskill's #1 fan, but oooof, parts of it are rough. The good: learning about her childhood, the formative years of her education and her early career, her family, her ex-husband's unsolved murder - I knew a lot of this from my #1 fandom, but she tells the stories in compelling interesting ways that I think illustrate her strength and bravery rather than inspire people to feel sorry for her. I also loved her descriptions of her ea It pains me to give this book just three stars since I am Senator McCaskill's #1 fan, but oooof, parts of it are rough. The good: learning about her childhood, the formative years of her education and her early career, her family, her ex-husband's unsolved murder - I knew a lot of this from my #1 fandom, but she tells the stories in compelling interesting ways that I think illustrate her strength and bravery rather than inspire people to feel sorry for her. I also loved her descriptions of her early years in political office, what it was like to serve in the Senate with so few women (and how they supported each other), and how she and her campaign staff strategized to get Todd Akin the Republican nomination for the Missouri election in 2012 because they knew he was the only candidate she could beat in such a conservative state. It is certainly setting her up for some sort of Cabinet role or her 2016/2018 campaign plans. I also loved her stories about her infamous mistakes and missteps in politics, and how hard she has worked to overcome those things. And, of course, her descriptions of Columbia, Mizzou, St. Louis, and Kansas City made me Missouri-sick in the very best way. I love memoirs that emphasize places that matter to the subject. The bad: The first chapter is excruciating. It reads as if the rest of the book was written and someone told the authors that it couldn't just start with her birth, they needed a Powerful First Chapter, and it is terrible. It jumps all over the place, the sentences are short and choppy, and it is almost as if it's from an entirely different book than the rest of the book. It is so bizarre that I honestly can't understand how that made it to publication. So, skip that and start with Chapter 2, and the book will be much better for it. Parts of the rest of the book have a similar choppy writing style, and it made me wonder if Terry Ganey just transcribed Senator McCaskill's words as she spoke or what was going on there. It's not consistent throughout the book, but when it pops up, it is distracting and seems like an inexperienced writer was handling that part. The whole thing needed much better editing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I chose this book because Claire McCaskill is my senator and I was interested in learning more about her personal life and political career. At just under three hundred pages, she just hits the highlights which was perfect for me. It made it a quick read and kept it entertaining. Most of it is about her struggle to be accepted in the good old boy network that’s so prevalent in politics at both the local and national levels. I loved that Claire was honest about her almost House of Cards level of s I chose this book because Claire McCaskill is my senator and I was interested in learning more about her personal life and political career. At just under three hundred pages, she just hits the highlights which was perfect for me. It made it a quick read and kept it entertaining. Most of it is about her struggle to be accepted in the good old boy network that’s so prevalent in politics at both the local and national levels. I loved that Claire was honest about her almost House of Cards level of scheming to set Todd Akin up as her opponent in her most recent Senate race. You may recall that that he’s the candidate who said, ““If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” – meaning that if a woman is raped, she can’t get pregnant. Claire wanted him to be her opponent because she knew she could beat him easily after he made that comment. She’s also not afraid to admit that she’s made mistakes along the way and to write about them specifically, like when she said she wouldn’t let her daughters near Bill Clinton, which of course Hillary was not happy about. It’s refreshing to read such unflinching honesty from a politician. If you are interested in politics and especially women’s role in them, then you’ll like this book even if you don’t live in Missouri.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ngiste

    This was delightful. A really nice read for a Sunday morning, it's an inspiring but also pragmatic look at one woman's life in politics. It was edifying to see her evolution over time, and the parallel evolution of women in the public sphere. In particular, the transition from women having to be as hard hitting as men, to women having, or getting?, to own being women and the strengths that brought to the political trail. There are a lot of lessons and takeaways in Claire McCaskill's story, and n This was delightful. A really nice read for a Sunday morning, it's an inspiring but also pragmatic look at one woman's life in politics. It was edifying to see her evolution over time, and the parallel evolution of women in the public sphere. In particular, the transition from women having to be as hard hitting as men, to women having, or getting?, to own being women and the strengths that brought to the political trail. There are a lot of lessons and takeaways in Claire McCaskill's story, and not a lot of them are about policy, but a lot are about personal grit and not a few are about political strategy (the Todd Akin chapters are a real gem). Highly recommend, especially good as a gift for young women interested in public service of any sort.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book is exceptional. I checked out the audiobook when IL House Representative Cheri Bustos posted she was reading it for National Book Week. I had not heard of the book, but have an interest in women's representation in government and was particularly interested in this Senator in my neighboring State. The book was an amazing account of women in politics: how women run for office and how that has changed over the decades...what happens when women win and lose elections...the public scrutiny p This book is exceptional. I checked out the audiobook when IL House Representative Cheri Bustos posted she was reading it for National Book Week. I had not heard of the book, but have an interest in women's representation in government and was particularly interested in this Senator in my neighboring State. The book was an amazing account of women in politics: how women run for office and how that has changed over the decades...what happens when women win and lose elections...the public scrutiny particular to women in public office...and how women in office interact with other politicians. I am politically left-leaning, but I truly believe this book would be engaging for people on both sides of the aisle. I think so many politicians get it wrong because there are plenty of individuals who are savvy/ambitious enough for public office but who are not true public servants. Likewise, there are plenty of true public servants who lack the ambition or political maneuvering to be elected to a high ranking office. Senator McCaskill gets it right: not at all apologetic about her ambition, but within her beats the heart of a true public servant. If you "read with your ears" at all, I would definitely suggest listening to this book on audiobook. Senator McCaskill reads it herself and is insightful, frank, and sometimes funny. I laughed out loud at some of her accounts of being a working mom in a high-power career. I truly teared up when she talked about learning that her ex-husband had been tragically murdered. I hung on every word when she talked about how the women of the Senate from both parties interact with each other. What a pleasant surprise to experience a book that pick up on a whim to be so impactful. I cannot recommend this book enough.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Greta Sutherland

    “You’re too young. Your hair is too long. You’re a girl. Go find yourself a husband.” Thus began a 35+ year career of public service, as Claire McCaskill knocked on the door of a potential voter in 1983. Claire McCaskill is a former state senator from Missouri. Her influence in the Senate has been one of strength as a moderate voice. While reading this memoir, I was especially intrigued with the sisterhood relationship between the female members of the Senate. They regularly met for a bipartisan d “You’re too young. Your hair is too long. You’re a girl. Go find yourself a husband.” Thus began a 35+ year career of public service, as Claire McCaskill knocked on the door of a potential voter in 1983. Claire McCaskill is a former state senator from Missouri. Her influence in the Senate has been one of strength as a moderate voice. While reading this memoir, I was especially intrigued with the sisterhood relationship between the female members of the Senate. They regularly met for a bipartisan dinner – no press or staff allowed. It was a safe place to discuss the unique position in which they found themselves: as mothers, wives, senators and all the competing forces that surround those roles. Periodically, the female Supreme Court justices also met with them. Oh to be a fly on the wall… While women in political office is becoming more and more acceptable, and blatant gender biases aren’t as prevalent, there are still passively used phrases that are unique to women in the political arena. McCaskill was accused of not being ladylike enough and that her actions were unbecoming of a woman. These comments are a little less abrasive than earlier in McCaskill’s political career when a male legislator asked her if she brought her knee pads(!!) to a one-on-one business meeting. McCaskill wrapped up her book with a somewhat new challenge for women: Women need to invest in their future by donating money to charities and political campaigns. This is a way in which we can make our voices known about the areas that affect our lives and those of future generations. I recommend this book to all persons interested in the political trajectory of candidates and how local elections evolve to national elections. Whether it’s a local election or a school or community role – position yourself to do the most good and have the most effective voice for your cause. You can’t use your clout to change the things you’re passionate about unless you have the clout. I’ve never met a political candidate I agree with 100% and that also applies to Claire McCaskill. But I am proud of her representation of Missouri’s moderate political ideals. As with McCaskill, Missourians are often more willing to cross party lines when it leads to an equitable solution. (A lesson desperately needed in our current political environment.) This memoir is filled with unflinching honesty, a quick wit and insightful wisdom from one of our country’s leading senatorial politicians

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Setting up her run for another re-election battle? I have never been to Missouri, am not familiar with the state (other than Ferguson), but know her best from her...interesting re-election battle in 2012 vs. Todd "Legitimate rape" Akin. This was a seat that was poised to be a loss for the Democrats and McCaskill was looking at a truly uphill battle. But it turns out all she had to do was get out of the way and let the candidate repeatedly trip over himself.   That said, when I saw she had a book c Setting up her run for another re-election battle? I have never been to Missouri, am not familiar with the state (other than Ferguson), but know her best from her...interesting re-election battle in 2012 vs. Todd "Legitimate rape" Akin. This was a seat that was poised to be a loss for the Democrats and McCaskill was looking at a truly uphill battle. But it turns out all she had to do was get out of the way and let the candidate repeatedly trip over himself.   That said, when I saw she had a book coming out I thought I'd pick it up and read it. It's a familiar, formulaic book of her growing up, her initial exposure to campaigning (getting homecoming queen), plus her education and time as a lawyer and prosecutor. However, I'll admit that what I was really interested in was her political career, particularly as a Senator.   We get to that, and it's interesting. It's also sad to see the sexism and misogyny directed her way (although she isn't as specific when talking about the Senate--she talks more about the group of women who serve) throughout her career. I couldn't help but wonder what it'd be like if she was in a state that was not as conservative or if she had run for governor instead of Senate.   That said, the part that interested me the most was her campaigning. The book is fairly dull with some interesting bits and pieces here and there including some of the barriers she faced, discussions of her family (I didn't realize that her first husband was the victim of a murder that has never been solved), her relationship with Obama, etc. But what really drew me into the book was her story about dealing with Todd Akin.   She had to walk a *very* tight line to get Akin as a candidate and apparently this book confirms what was widely thought but unproven: she and her team essentially maneuvered Akin into the spot and had to hope that he would remain the nominee throughout the campaign. Despite the drama surrounding his comment and initial fears he'd be pushed out of the race, Akin acted pretty much how as McCaskill and her side thought he would by refusing to leave and feeling no loyalty or pressure from the greater GOP party structure.   I'm not going to lie, this part was probably the most hilarious for me. His comments were not funny, but in retrospect this really was a car crash of a campaign for a seat that could (and maybe should) have been an easy pickup for the Republican Party. I somewhat wonder what it'd be like if McCaskill were more involved a the strategic level with the Democratic Party since she figured out how to maneuver a weak candidate into the opponent's place.   Overall, though, the book isn't an amazing read. The author collaborated with a co-author who used to be a journalist that I think that's why. Some parts of the book like the Akin campaign are really fascinating but unfortunately the book is like that in spurts, with a lot of uninteresting information between them. But it was interesting to read about from her POV and to learn more about her. Not a bad read, but unless you're a political scientist or something it's probably best as a library borrow.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mboconnor31

    Amazing story of an American politician who happens to have bucked the system stacked against her gender. I am very impressed by Claire Conner McCaskill and highly recommend her memoir. Her family provided her great strength, especially her mother who was the first woman on the City Council for Columbia, Missouri and who lost her run for office in the state House of Representatives to Leroy Blunt, a member of another well known Missouri political family. The author began her political career as a Amazing story of an American politician who happens to have bucked the system stacked against her gender. I am very impressed by Claire Conner McCaskill and highly recommend her memoir. Her family provided her great strength, especially her mother who was the first woman on the City Council for Columbia, Missouri and who lost her run for office in the state House of Representatives to Leroy Blunt, a member of another well known Missouri political family. The author began her political career as a Missouri House of Representative which she held from 1983 through 1989. She also was a State Prosecutor in Jackson County from 1993 through 1998 before becoming the State Auditor from 1999 through 2007. There is a lot to learn about Missouri from this book, as well as a front seat play by play given by the author of her career, personal life and canny strategic decisions she made through out. Most famously McCaskill was a US Senator from 2007 through 2019 and her most infamous run for the US Senate was in 2008 against Jeffrey Aiken, another infamous client of Kellyanne Conway. In fact, when I heard McCaskill purposely posted ads designed to get out a certain vote for her opponent I the primary, I was intrigued enough to read this book. This strategy showed her savvy and sophistication in the realm of politics. However, as she put it it was either genius or ultimate foolery depending on the outcome. As you may recall Aiken is known for his infamous “legitimate rape” claim that a woman would not get pregnant if it was a legitimate rape according to the science of someone’s fantasy Lord aka a group of right wingers who Aiken diligently mimicked and followed. The feeling of this chapter of her life is more than worth the read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    I am crazy about Claire McCaskill, and she became my #1 favorite senator. I loved watching her in her committee and subcommittee hearings on C-SPAN. The best chapter in the book, in my opinion, is "Boondoggles" and is about her investigative work on those committees. There are some good stories in the book, but overall, as memoirs go, it's just okay. I am crazy about Claire McCaskill, and she became my #1 favorite senator. I loved watching her in her committee and subcommittee hearings on C-SPAN. The best chapter in the book, in my opinion, is "Boondoggles" and is about her investigative work on those committees. There are some good stories in the book, but overall, as memoirs go, it's just okay.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

    I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. I am paying it forward by passing this book along to a family member who I think will enjoy it too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I have been to Missouri back in the 1980s I got interested in Claire McCaskill, when she lost for race for U.S. Senate and later became a political analyst. I was curious about her childhood and political background. Not very much of the audiobook was spent on her childhood. Her mother encouraged her to be self-sufficient before she got married, and her father told her to be popular and get good grades. Claire did well in all the areas, got good grades and was her school's homecoming queen. On to I have been to Missouri back in the 1980s I got interested in Claire McCaskill, when she lost for race for U.S. Senate and later became a political analyst. I was curious about her childhood and political background. Not very much of the audiobook was spent on her childhood. Her mother encouraged her to be self-sufficient before she got married, and her father told her to be popular and get good grades. Claire did well in all the areas, got good grades and was her school's homecoming queen. On to law school and she became a successful prosecutor. When her little boy asked what she did all day for a paper, he got the spelling wrong and said that she was the best prostitute! Her first marriage ended because her husband became an alcoholic, although he was always a wonderful dad to her kids. After a long romance, the man who she was dating, told her that he could not see marriage in their future. Later, she married a man who did not have a political background. Claire has had a lot of ups and downs in her political career, but she always had perseverance and a diligent researcher. Most of all she is resilient and smart and adaptable. The above review is based on my own thoughts and feelings.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Jones

    Before listening to this book, I only knew Claire McCaskill as a political commentator and MSNBC panelist. Published in 2015, Claire talks about her political career from the beginning to 2015, before Trump was elected.  Written in a linear fashion, this was an interesting look at American politics from a woman's perspective. Highlighting the struggles of woman in politics, McCaskill manages to emphasise the kinds of issues that seem to be solely addressed by female senators. I really enjoyed this Before listening to this book, I only knew Claire McCaskill as a political commentator and MSNBC panelist. Published in 2015, Claire talks about her political career from the beginning to 2015, before Trump was elected.  Written in a linear fashion, this was an interesting look at American politics from a woman's perspective. Highlighting the struggles of woman in politics, McCaskill manages to emphasise the kinds of issues that seem to be solely addressed by female senators. I really enjoyed this but I did find that a lot of the stories were bogged down with statistics and I found that a lot of the later sections were about financial reform, something that I am not that knowledgeable about so got the least from. Overall, if you are familiar with her as a politician, I would give this book a go. 3 out of 5 stars!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    I enjoyed the book by former Senator of Missouri, Claire McCaskill. I was interested in reading her memoir because I have been watching her on MSNBC. I enjoyed her down to earth quick wit in this book. I really enjoyed hearing about her life at the University of Missouri, from being in a political family and striving to political office. I enjoyed the book immensely. She is one smart cookie! :) She writes about working on committees while in the Senate. If you want to read about what it takes to I enjoyed the book by former Senator of Missouri, Claire McCaskill. I was interested in reading her memoir because I have been watching her on MSNBC. I enjoyed her down to earth quick wit in this book. I really enjoyed hearing about her life at the University of Missouri, from being in a political family and striving to political office. I enjoyed the book immensely. She is one smart cookie! :) She writes about working on committees while in the Senate. If you want to read about what it takes to become a Senator then this book is for you. I appreciate her dedication in work in public service. I would like to read more books by Claire McCaskill. She enjoyed her life in politics. I would like to see her back in government sometime down the line. If not, then this book would certainly inspire other women to do the same. Thank you Claire! :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    The Missouri Democratic senator tells a number of interesting stories about her rise to prominence, but the book CD is a little disconcerting when she reads other people's praiseworthy remarks about her. It makes it difficult, at times, to tell whether she is still reading the other person's remarks or she has returned to her own voice. Although she at times plays down her ambition for higher office, her actions in seeking almost everything that came up along the way tell another story. And her The Missouri Democratic senator tells a number of interesting stories about her rise to prominence, but the book CD is a little disconcerting when she reads other people's praiseworthy remarks about her. It makes it difficult, at times, to tell whether she is still reading the other person's remarks or she has returned to her own voice. Although she at times plays down her ambition for higher office, her actions in seeking almost everything that came up along the way tell another story. And her cynicism is quite evident when she discusses her 2012 Senate opponent's faith and her scheme to promote him in his Republican primary. Although she has been elected twice, she remains one of 2018's most vulnerable Democrats, which may be a statement in itself.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Interesting to get more background on my neighboring former senator. I've lived in the Kansas City metro area my entire life, but always on the Kansas side. I have heard a lot of political ads and read some in local coverage, but all those names were never people representing me. Interesting to connect some dots from my high school through early adult days for positions. More like a 3-star memoir read, but I'm giving a lot of grace for the connection to the local lady. Plus her logical approach Interesting to get more background on my neighboring former senator. I've lived in the Kansas City metro area my entire life, but always on the Kansas side. I have heard a lot of political ads and read some in local coverage, but all those names were never people representing me. Interesting to connect some dots from my high school through early adult days for positions. More like a 3-star memoir read, but I'm giving a lot of grace for the connection to the local lady. Plus her logical approach to policy is a reminder it can be done.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    I am between 3 and 4 stars on this one. I really enjoyed the honesty she brings to her story (which is a unique one given our continued gender imbalance in leadership), but I think this book tries to cover too long of a time period or too many sub-themes. The final 3 chapters felt especially disjointed...as if they were tacked on there.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    I like Claire McCaskill And her politics quite a bit and enjoyed hearing her tell her story. She rubs me the wrong way only in the way all politicians do but I appreciate that she calls it what it is. She knows what it takes to be successful in politics and doesn’t pretend. I very much wish she was still in office.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Linda Bybee-kapfer

    Get past Chapter 1 , and you'll enjoy it I'm such a fan of the Senator's. It was wonderful to discover more about her. I give it 4 stars because the first chapter is awful. The voice is disembodied from the narrative completely. Truly, I think someone else wrote it. The rest of the text is very much the Claire you see in and on the news. Get past Chapter 1 , and you'll enjoy it I'm such a fan of the Senator's. It was wonderful to discover more about her. I give it 4 stars because the first chapter is awful. The voice is disembodied from the narrative completely. Truly, I think someone else wrote it. The rest of the text is very much the Claire you see in and on the news.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

    I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. I am paying it forward by passing this book along to a family member who I think will enjoy it too.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

    I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. I am paying it forward by passing this book along to a family member who I think will enjoy it too.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Claire is a hero to the next generation of politic-minded Missourians; who else can say their senior senator shotguns beers on election night?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jason Anthony

    Lackluster writing, especially the first chapter, limits this book’s potential.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    Good read

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katie Yaeger

    I miss Claire's leadership in the US Senate a whole lot. I miss Claire's leadership in the US Senate a whole lot.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Richard Pierce

    A nice short memoir about her political career which is unique since it comes from a women who broke many barriers in male dominated occupation.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ellyn

    I wanted to know more about McCaskill, who I've enjoyed as an MSNBC commentator. Brilliant strong woman, an asset to whatever cause she pursues. I wanted to know more about McCaskill, who I've enjoyed as an MSNBC commentator. Brilliant strong woman, an asset to whatever cause she pursues.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julie O'Donoghue

    I read this when I was working as a political reporter in Missouri. I found it much more insightful that I thought it was going to be.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    I saw an interview on T. V. with Senator McCaskill discussing how she is investigating and analyzing the Iran Treaty. I was impressed at how she was educating herself about the treaty and the various other options available. So I decided to buy her book and read about her. I discovered she is the first woman Senator from Missouri. She tells about her early life and her education. She earned a law degree and worked her way through school by working as a waitress. She worked as prosecutor and after I saw an interview on T. V. with Senator McCaskill discussing how she is investigating and analyzing the Iran Treaty. I was impressed at how she was educating herself about the treaty and the various other options available. So I decided to buy her book and read about her. I discovered she is the first woman Senator from Missouri. She tells about her early life and her education. She earned a law degree and worked her way through school by working as a waitress. She worked as prosecutor and after some attempts was finally elected to the Missouri State House of Representatives. McCaskill tells in detail her failed campaign run for Governor of Missouri. She says that being Governor was her goal since age 8; she goes on to tell about what she did right and wrong in her campaign attempt. She was encouraged to run for Senator from Missouri by the Democratic Party. She says she put into practice in this campaign what she had learned from the failed attempt for Governor. McCaskill discusses her political life and her various campaigns and opponents. She also briefly touches on her personal life. I was very interested in her life as a Senator and her interactions with the other women Senators. She discussed Hilary Clinton telling how hard working she was and that she was just one of the girls. I was interested in her view of the debate about sexual abuse in the Military. McCaskill served on the committee chaired by Kirsten Gillibrand and the various “Military Code of Justice” laws they got changed or added. She spoke about many of the women Senators she worked with and how well they all worked together without regard to their party affiliations. The goal of the book is to encourage young women to run for political office. She would like to have at least sixty women in the Senate. The book is easy to read and provides an inside view of the life of a women politician. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. Claire McCaskill narrated the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Roland

    I decided to read this book for a couple of reasons. First, I've become accustomed to seeing Senator McCaskill on the morning talk show circuit promoting Hillary Clinton for President. So, I was curious as to how she was and how she became such a prominent Senator. Every time I watch her, I'm mesmerized by her tenacious defense of her position...whatever it may be. I admire people who can state a case with facts and persuasion, and she is really good at doing that on national television. Secondl I decided to read this book for a couple of reasons. First, I've become accustomed to seeing Senator McCaskill on the morning talk show circuit promoting Hillary Clinton for President. So, I was curious as to how she was and how she became such a prominent Senator. Every time I watch her, I'm mesmerized by her tenacious defense of her position...whatever it may be. I admire people who can state a case with facts and persuasion, and she is really good at doing that on national television. Secondly, I have read the autobiographies of Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and found both of those works worth the time. Needless to say, this memoir impressed me. Senator McCaskill does a great job of telling her life story in an easy to read format. The reader really gets a sense of who she is as a person, and how her life has shaped her political viewpoints. My favorite part of the novel was her explanation of how she "picked" her opponent in the last election cycle. It's hard to envision how revolutionary this was in electoral politics, but she really mastered it, and it worked out in her favor...actually, I think it worked out in all of our favor since her opponent held radical political views. No matter if you are a liberal or a conservative, you should pick this book up and read it. Senator McCaskill has an interesting life that I think most people can relate to regardless of political persuasion.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    If you've seen an interview with Claire McCaskill, you know she's a pretty straightforward, no-nonsense kind of gal. I've always admired her plainspoken common sense, and taken an active interest in her politics. Reading this memoir has only deepened my respect for her, though, and helped me better understand what's made her the Senator and woman she is today. Raised by a strong mother and supportive family in rural Missouri, McCaskill tells the story of her Missouri political career--from her t If you've seen an interview with Claire McCaskill, you know she's a pretty straightforward, no-nonsense kind of gal. I've always admired her plainspoken common sense, and taken an active interest in her politics. Reading this memoir has only deepened my respect for her, though, and helped me better understand what's made her the Senator and woman she is today. Raised by a strong mother and supportive family in rural Missouri, McCaskill tells the story of her Missouri political career--from her time as a Jackson County prosecutor, to her successful run for the Missouri House and Auditor's office--illustrating how those experiences prepared her for the U.S. Senate and inform many of the national issues she's known for today. But this book isn't political opinion as much as McCaskill's personal account of how she forged a political career while balancing family, standing up for what she believes in despite others' political extremes, dealing with loss and disappointment, and facing down the 'good old boy' network at every turn. The case she makes for a woman's role in leadership is relevant to any profession, and her personal courage and moxie are inspiring. If you're interested in Missouri politics, or looking for a gutsy female role model, Claire’s story is worth a read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Here is my very belated review for this book. First things first, I received this book through a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. Now onto the review! I went into this book knowing next-to-nothing about Claire McCaskill aside from the fact she was in Congress. I came out of the book admiring her fortitude, leadership, and willingness to say what she means. This was a very readable political memoir. McCaskill does a good job relating how she got where to she is today. As a young woman who hasn't ma Here is my very belated review for this book. First things first, I received this book through a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. Now onto the review! I went into this book knowing next-to-nothing about Claire McCaskill aside from the fact she was in Congress. I came out of the book admiring her fortitude, leadership, and willingness to say what she means. This was a very readable political memoir. McCaskill does a good job relating how she got where to she is today. As a young woman who hasn't made half as much of a mark as McCaskill her ambition and drive are almost intimidating. I admire that she did not seem to shy away from critiques of her decisions nor is she afraid to talk about the difficulties of being a woman in a realm dominated by men. I enjoyed this book and if you've ever spent time in Missouri, if she's your Senator, or if you are just interested in learning more about the life of this smart and dedicated woman I would recommend this book.

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