While it is never a good idea to review a book before fully reading it, I will make an exception – only this time.
I am reading “The Good Fight: Hard lessons from Searchlight to Washington,” by Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader. It is a book written plainly, told passionately and shows a man who came from the middle of nowhere and has defined Washington politics in a significant way.
My first exposure to his work came recently, when I visited his office and met the Director of the “Senate Diversity Initiative,” a unique effort to bring in minorities to work on the Hill. The office was created by him and reflects his thinking – which to all appearances seems inclusive, broad-based.
The book captures his early struggles in Searchlight, a town he was born and grew up in and which had ” 13 brothels and no church”, a rough part of Nevada; which seems to have matured him early in life.
The chapters move back and forth in time, with his time in DC reflecting his political and personal ideals. The parts which deal with the Bush administration are particularly interesting, and his defiance of the bullying and lying that the administration perpetrated to push the war on Iraq is clearly evident.
This passage about his conversation with General Gard, regarding the Iraq war sums up his opinion :” General Gard told me that the situation we faced in the spring of 2007 was eerily reminiscent of the one he lived through in the spring of 1965. Because the President didnt want to be tarred with losing a war, we continued, for five more years”, he said “with an outcome we could have achieved without ever escalating”.
The book, written in simple language, shows a man who speaks plainly, lives honorably and has served the country all his life.