Robert B. Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, chronicles with wit and warmth the triumphs and failures of his time in office.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be in a powerful position in government, author Reich's memoirs of his stint as President Clinton's Labor Secretary (1992-96) is a good place to start. Known as the "conscience" of the Clinton administration, Reich reveals a life inside the loop that is a funny, enlightening personal account of his efforts to put his boomer ideals into practice. These journal entries deal with the relentless pressure from all sides about pending legislation, ridiculous interactions with elected officials and lobbyists, advice to the President on wage and labor issues, and interactions with such powerful officials as Alan Greenspan, Newt Gingrich, and, of course, his 20-year pal, Bill Clinton. Reich's experience as a writer (e.g., The Work of Nations, Vintage, 1992), not a laborer, posed peculiar difficulties in building relationships with labor leaders. From striking baseball players to union bosses to shameless politicians, Reich has had to deal with them all in his strong commitment to Clinton's goals while struggling to maintain family balance, classifying him as one of the more successful labor leaders in history. This is essential for larger public libraries in metropolitan areas with heavy interest in memoirs of insider politicos.Dale Farris, Groves, Tex.