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Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughtersby Nancy Pelosi
Synopses & Reviews
Never L o s e Fa i t h
It was a cold day in January 1987 when I said goodbye to Sala. I didn't know it at the time-or perhaps I simply wasn’t ready to accept it-but my friend was dying.
Sala Burton was a Congresswoman from California whom I had known, along with her late husband, Phillip, for many years. She was one of the women I admired most, as well as a close friend.
Everyone respected Sala and knew not to underestimate her. She looked like Mother Earth; she spoke with a Polish accent; she didn't drive a car. She gave off an intense warmth-if she liked you. She was passionate about what she believed in, but very dispassionate about her
Sala was like family to me. She loved my children and was especially close to my two oldest daughters, Nancy Corinne and Christine. Nancy Corinne started at Mount Vernon College in Washington shortly after Sala went to Congress, and called us one day to say that she needed
Why do you think you should have a car in college? my husband, Paul, and I asked. With five children, providing each one with a car in college was not in the budget. I need a car for Sala, Nancy Corinne said. “I have to drive Sala around.”
So we sent our old Jeep Wrangler from San Francisco. It was quite a sight to see Nancy Corinne driving the dignified Sala Burton around Washington in a car with removable windows.
A couple of years later, Sala became ill with cancer. We thought she could win any battle. But this was one she could not.
And so the time came to say goodbye. Anyone who has ever visited a friend who is dying will know how hard it is. What was astonishing to me, however, was her selflessness. Despite my protests, what she wanted most to talk about was me.
A circle of her friends, whom she had summoned, gathered around her bed. Solemnly she announced the sad news: She would not be seeking reelection because she was very ill. She then turned to me and asked me to run for her seat. She wanted me to accept her endorsement
on the spot.
Sala, please don't talk this way, I said. You're breaking my heart.”
I still held out hope that she would get better. Finally she convinced me that my agreement was the only answer that would bring her comfort, and so, with great sadness, I promised I would run for Congress.
I often look back on that day in wonder.
We all admired Sala's strength and grace, but what was striking was the faith she had in me. Sometimes it takes the encouragement of someone who knows us well to propel us forward in ways we never would have dreamed. I was confident in my abilities and accomplishments, but Sala's faith in me was so unshakable that it made me determined to live up to it.
And so I ran for Congress-and won. I was forty-seven years old, a mother of five, happily married, and never-not even once–thinking or wanting this to happen to me.
In the campaign, I had to face many challenges. Like many women, I was hesitant to talk about myself and my achievements, but I became much more at ease because I believed deeply in everything I said about the issues.
What lifts you up, what helps you to grow, is the excitement of the people around you. When I announced my candidacy in mid-February that year, I walked into the ILWU union hall expecting to see a few friends and reporters
Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and our granddaughters today we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters now the sky is the limit. Nancy Pelosi, after being sworn in as Speaker of the House
When Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker of the House, she made history. She gavelled the House to order that day on behalf of all of America's children and said, We have made history, now let us make progress. Now she continues to inspire women everywhere in this thought-provoking collection of wise words her own and those of the important people who played pivotal roles in her journey.
One of America's most powerful political leaders describes her personal odyssey to the heights of American political power in a memoir that recalls growing up the daughter of Baltimore mayor Tommy D'Alesandro, her marriage and family life, role in the California Democratic Party, congressional career, and election as the first female Speaker of the House. 200,000 first printing.
Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and our granddaughters today we have broken the marble ceiling. For ourdaughters and our granddaughters now the sky is the limit. -Nancy Pelosi, after being sworn in as Speaker of the House When Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker of the House, she made history.Now she continues to inspire women everywhere in this thought-provoking collection of wise words-her own and those of the important people who played pivotal roles in her journey. In this compelling book, she encouragesmothers and grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters to never lose faith, to speak out and make their voices heard, to focus on what matters most and to follow their dreams wherever they maylead.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
NANCY PELOSI holds the highest office of any woman in American history. After reading her story, you will understand how she went from homemaker to House Speaker, and became a new icon of female power.
Table of Contents
Part one. Roots and wings — Never lose faith — Declarations of independence — An open house — Love happens — Be open to the new — Part two. Kitchen to Congress — Recognize opportunity — Organize, don't agonize — A voice that will be heard — "Age quod agis" (do what you are doing) — Think outside the Beltway — Part three. Know your power — A seat at the table — There is no secret sauce — Remember when you used to cook? — The qualities you need — The speaker and the president — What matters most.
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