Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Indie Bookseller Reviews of Let the People In

We are one of IndieBound's picks for October and today's the last day to revel in the glory on IndieBound's Next List page!

Check out the reviews we received from independent booksellers for Let The People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richards by Jan Reid:

"You don’t have to be a Texan, a political junkie, or a feminist to be fascinated by Ann Richards, the colorful one-time Texas governor. Reid, her biographer, knew his subject and had access to her unpublished letters and other documents, and he brings Richards vividly to life with help from her many lively remarks about the people and events of the day. She was active on both local and national fronts, kept up with a family and a career, and struggled successfully against alcoholism. She was a fighter and a survivor, and in Reid’s compelling portrait she will remain an inspiring figure for some time to come."
Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose 
Washington, DC
"An insider's view to the backrooms of Texas progressive politics! Reid's biography has much in common with some of my favorites-- those of Martha Gellhorn, May Sarton, Molly Ivins, and most recently Alice Kessler-Harris's bio of Lillian Hellman. These are all books about difficult, passionate women who led unconventional lives in the mid-20th century. They worked and lived and fought and drank with men and competed on their own terms. Their feminism was intrinsic to their identities. And all of them were opinionated, brash as well as brave, compassionate in the largest sense, while often petty and prickly in their private relations. Fascinating, filled with primary source materials. This is a great, in-depth portrait of a brilliant, feminist, and politician."
 Linda Bubon, Women and Children First
Chicago, IL 

"Sweeping in scope, richly anecdotal back-story account of Ann Richards' path from a Texas girl of modest means to Governor and beyond by a man who knew her. Of particular interest is how Ann spent nearly 20 years doing politics and activism while working basically as a housewife and then, after her separation from her husband, found herself catapulted onto the electoral center stage where she blazed a hard-fought trail for other women who subsequently ran for political office. I also enjoyed the account of the early years, when she and her husband consorted with a raggedy band of hard-drinking, pot-smoking progressives (hey, it was the late 60s and early 70s) whose populist politics kicked some serious conservative butt over the years. I don't usually read political biography but enjoyed this one very much."
 Kris Kleindlest, Left Bank Books
St. Louis, MO

"Exactly what the subtitle claims to be: a very personal chronicle of a woman who fell into the vortex of Texas politics in the 1970s and 1980s. With a journalist's attention to sniffing out all the details, Reid has captured one of the more fascinating times in Texas history, when the old Republican applecart was upset by Ann Richards, a feminist and inclusionist, who found that being a good wife and mother "just bored the living hell out of me." The personal and professional battles of the woman who became governor are balanced with an eye-opening (at least for this non-native Texan) account of how politics worked -- and works -- in Texas. It's fascinating reading."
 —Alice Meloy, Blue Willow Books
Houston, TX
"Jan Reid has given us a definitive picture of the life of one of a larger than life Texan.  For those of us who knew Ann and for those who didn't there is plenty to read through and get the complete picture of how this feisty Texas woman made modern history.  If you experienced the euphoria of Ann's inauguration you were part of a Texas that was filled with promise and seemed poised to take the lead in solving the nations' problems, and the disaster that ended her governorship was something that we could not have even imagined. For me the book read like a novel--except I was there enough to know it wasn't."
 —Steve Bercu, Book People CEO and Vice President of ABA
Austin, TX
"What a treat!  It is such a well-written book about a fascinating subject, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  Since I subscribe to Texas Monthly and the Texas Observer, I had read many of the pieces referenced at the time they were published, and I think Mr. Reid has done a masterful job of mining his rich sources for material that will bring a complicated, lovely woman to life for a broad audience."
 Marilyn Copeland, King’s English
Salt Lake City, UT

"What an interesting and engaging read, particularly in an election year. Richards' life turns out to be the perfect lesson in American politics--from grassroots local, to national stage. And honestly, if you weren't a fan of Richards before, you will be after reading this. The book does a wonderful job of introducing you to this fascinating political leader, but also simply telling one woman's life story--the highs and the lows. The book is full of great anecdotes and a few great photos as well. I highly recommend it."
 Allison Hill, Vroman’s Bookstore
Pasadena, CA

"Oh my, do I miss Ann Richards! I suspect a lot of other people do as well.  Jan Reid had done a wonderful job recounting Richards' rise to power starting as a young housewife and ending up as the Governor of Texas.  Along the way, she espoused progressive causes and skewered her opponents with a devastating wit.  Her most famous characterization of a political adversary as being "born with a silver foot in his mouth," seems to live on with renewed vigor."
 Elaine Petrocelli, Book Passage
San Francisco, CA

"This exceedingly well-written portrait of the life of the brilliant Ann Richards was a true joy to read.  In addition to learning more about this incredible woman and her legacy, the book also weaves a thrilling tale of Texas Politics.  A thrilling ride for any lover of Texas, politics, and the great Ann Richards."
Becky Lee, Blue Willow Book Shop
Houston, TX

"Before she famously mocked President George H.W. Bush for being "born with a silver foot in his mouth," Ann Richards was already a controversial figure. Love her or hate her, no one could ignore her; she was a person of power and influence. Jan Reid's new biography tells not only of her influence, but also of her character, and paints a picture of a stubborn and resilient public servant. This is a story of the woman as well as the politician, but also a book about politics itself, and the sacrifices one makes to live in the public sphere. In the end, Governor Richards' struggles and accomplishments reveal 'what can happen in government if we simply open the doors and let the people in.'"
 Kester Smith, Book People 
Austin, TX

"Let the People In is a fascinating look at one of the great political figures of our time. Jan Reid uses interviews, correspondence, and solid research to give us an honest, intimate portrait of former Texas governor Ann Richards. She wasn't perfect by any means but she broke a lot of glass ceilings, fought for social justice and mentored a new generation of female leaders. Her story is an important one and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in politics (right or left) but also more generally to anyone just interested in reading a really compelling biography."
Cody Morrison, Square Books
Oxford, MS
"What memories this book stirred up. Jan Reid's "Let the People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richards" should be required reading for anyone who wants to enter politics, especially in Texas, but even the casual reader of history will enjoy learning about one of the most colorful and accomplished figures ever in the Texas Democratic Party. Reid captures the defining moments, struggles, and fears of Ann Richards she rose to become the first woman governor elected in her own right. This warts-and-all biography just made me appreciate Gov. Richards even more than I already did. Reid's description of the night she won the gubernatorial election made me cry as I cried that night -- it was one of my proudest moments as a woman, a Texan, and a Democrat. The time period Reid covers is one of the reasons I'm involved in politics today."
 Sally Woods, Murder by the Book
Houston, TX

"The words Political and Biography never mixed well for me.  Where similar subjects had me running for the literary snooze button, Jan Reid had me reading well into the night. Sure, we remember Ann Richards, the unshakeable Texas icon. She opened the door for radical change on a political stage every bit the boys club that history cares to admit. But what about her life before the ballot box? What went on behind closed governor's mansion doors? What does an uncompromising spirit do in its down time retirement? With Let the People In, Jan Reid brings to light a life worth celebrating, a loss worth mourning, and a legacy hard won worth remembering."
 Chris Hoyt, Book People 
Austin, TX

"I've read a lot of history and political biography. The descriptive “page turner” is not often applicable. Jan Reid's biography of Ann Richards is exactly that. From start to finish, it's a compelling to read. “Let The People In” is a vibrant full palette portrait of the most important woman in the History of Texas politics. The Lone Star State has produced more than it's fair share of colorful and influential political figures. This fully detailed, unflinching look at Ann Richards' life tells the remarkable story how she earned her place among those colorful, influential folks.

Wife, Mother, Feminist, Friend and Politician, Ann Richards the whole human gets uncovered. It's not always pretty. It's never boring. You won't want to put it down. You'll finish with the sure belief that now more than ever, American politics could use a lot more folks like Governor Richards."
 Bosco Farr, Book People 
Austin, TX

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