Synopses & Reviews
To Make Change, You Have to Make Trouble
From Cecile Richards — the president of Planned Parenthood, daughter of the late Governor Ann Richards, featured speaker at the Women's March on Washington, and "the heroine of the resistance" (Vogue
) — comes a story about learning to lead and make change, based on a lifetime of fighting for women's rights and social justice.
Cecile Richards has been an activist since she was taken to the principal's office in seventh grade for wearing an armband in protest of the Vietnam War. Richards had an extraordinary girlhood in ultra-conservative Texas, where her hell-raising parents — her civil rights attorney father and political activist mother — taught their kids to be troublemakers. In the Richards household, the "dinner table was never for eating — it was for sorting precinct lists."
She watched her mother, Ann, transform herself from a housewife to a force in American politics who made a name for herself as the straight-talking, truth-telling governor of Texas. But Richards also witnessed the pitfalls of public life that are unique to women, and the constant struggle to protect and expand equal rights — both exemplified by her marathon congressional testimony, where she held her own against hostile questions for five hours.
As a young woman, Richards worked as a labor organizer alongside women earning a minimum wage, and learned that those in power don't give it up without a fight. Now, after years of advocacy, resistance, and progressive leadership, she shares her story for the first time — from the joy and heartbreak of activism to the challenges of raising kids, having a life, and making change, all at the same time. She shines a light on the people and lessons that have gotten her through good times and bad, and encourages readers to take risks, make mistakes, and make trouble along the way. Richards has dedicated her life to taking on injustice, and her memoir will inspire readers to hope and action.
She shines a light on the people and lessons that have gotten her through good times and bad, and encourages readers to take risks, make mistakes, and make trouble along the way. Richards has dedicated her life to taking on injustice, and her memoir will inspire readers to hope and action.
"Cecile Richards is my kind of troublemaker. When she sees inequality and injustice anywhere, she does something about it — with wit, wisdom, and courage. Especially at this moment, there's a lot we can learn from her career spent fighting for women's rights. Make Trouble is exactly the book our country needs." Sheryl Sandberg
"With Make Trouble, Cecile Richards — the fiery feminist icon to whom we are indebted — is now also the relatable warrior we adore. By inviting us beyond her frontline fight for justice and into her heart, Richards shows us that a life of activism isn’t reserved for the perfect — it’s for the passionate — and that it’s never too early or too late for women to show up for themselves and each other. In these difficult times in which equality-minded folks are desperate to find purpose and connection, Make Trouble is a roadmap to both." Glennon Doyle
"Cecile Richards has always been willing to act up, if need be, to make a difference. Make Trouble is more than a memoir, it’s a how-to manual for effecting change." Dr. Willie Parker
"Cecile Richards is whip-smart, clear-eyed, quick-witted, levelheaded and lionhearted. She employs all of these virtues in her fight for women’s health and women’s rights. She’s also employed them in the writing of this wonderful memoir, Make Trouble. The book, like its author, is a powerhouse." Ann Patchett
"Make Trouble is a timely reminder that each of us has the power to fight for justice and create the change we want to see. With insight and humor, Cecile Richards offers a call to action for aspiring organizers and leaders. A must-read for anyone hoping to make a difference and trying to figure out where to start." Senator Kamala Harris
"Cecile Richards’s story is powerful and infinitely readable. Whether you are newly ‘woke,’ a longtime activist, or just a caring citizen wondering how to advance democracy in hard times, Make Trouble has the answers. Cecile takes the mystery out of activism, gives you practical examples of how it's done, and tells stories that melt the distance from your front porch to Washington. She is the best teacher on earth — someone you trust." Gloria Steinem
"For more than a decade, America has known Cecile Richards as the fierce and fearless president of Planned Parenthood. Make Trouble offers a window into her life: the early organizing effort that landed her in the principal’s office; the historic campaign of her mother, Ann Richards, for governor of Texas; her courageous leadership on behalf of women; her travels during the 2016 presidential election; and the lessons she’s learned from the outpouring of activism America has seen since. With humor, heart, and hope, Cecile Richards offers practical advice and inspiration for aspiring leaders everywhere." Hillary Rodham Clinton
About the Author
Cecile Richards is a nationally respected leader in the field of women’s health, reproductive rights, and social change. She began her career helping garment workers, hotel workers, and nursing home aides fight for better wages and working conditions. After years in the labor movement, she moved back home to Texas to help elect the state’s first Democratic woman governor: Her mother, Ann Richards. She went on to start her own grassroots organizations, and later served as Deputy Chief of Staff to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2011 and 2012, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Richards is currently the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues related to women’s rights and activism. Richards serves on the board of the Ford Foundation. She and her husband, Kirk Adams, have three children and reside in New York City.
Cecile Richards on PowellsBooks.Blog
Over the course of writing my book, Make Trouble
, I revisited just about every chapter in my life — from my earliest memories growing up in Texas to the moment of unprecedented women’s activism we’re living through right now. I traveled back in time to my family’s dinner table in Austin, which was never for eating...