Synopses & Reviews
Up the Capitol Steps
is a personal and political memoir by Oregon's first (and only) woman governor, one of only 34 women who have served as state chief executives in the history of the United States. Barbara Roberts offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a woman's life in politics and aims to "demystify" leadership by telling the story of her own unlikely rise to power.
The mother of an autistic child before the advent of special education, Roberts began her life in public service as an advocate for the rights of children with disabilities. She documents her expanding political career from school board member to legislator to Secretary of State and finally, Governor. In this gripping and poignant memoir, hotly contested elections and tough policy decisions are interspersed with intimate details of personal ups and downs. Throughout, Roberts reveals the warmth and humor that show the "real" person behind the politician.
Only the third published memoir by a woman head-of-state, Up the Capitol Steps is "a very significant contribution to Oregon history, the history of women in politics, and especially the history of women governors," according to series editor Melody Rose. Roberts' autobiography captures a period of our nation's political history and a view of women's expanding role in government that will bring new understanding to the term, "social revolution."
"Each governor's journey to the state house is unique and each has lessons to be learned by anyone who wants to achieve a goal that is considered a stretch. This is particularly true of women who seek their state's highest office, especially when they are the first in their state to hold that office. Barbara Robert's tale is one that should both encourage and inspire." --Governor Christine Todd Whitman "Roberts shows what it takes to make history--the guts to challenge the past and the passion to make a difference. Her book clearly shows why Barbara Roberts is a winner." --Ellen Malcolm, Founder of Emily's List
About the Author
Barbara Roberts was Governor of Oregon from 1991-1995 and Oregon Secretary of State from 1985-1991. She was Director of the State and Local Government Executive Programs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and held a senior fellowship at the Harvard Women and Public Policy Program. Before her retirement in 2005, she served for five years as Associate Director of Leadership at Portland State University's Hatfield School of Government.