Mentioned this briefly in today’s “Free & Cheap UWS Events” post, but I thought it was worth its own post.
Former United States Senator Russ Feingold is appearing on the Upper West Side tonight to discuss his new book, While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era.
Best known for his role in passing campaign finance reform legislation (McCain-Feingold Act), the three-term senator from Wisconsin is a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard-trained lawyer. A Democrat, Feingold was first elected to the United States Senate in 1993, at the relatively young age of 40. Prior to that, he served as a Wisconsin State Senator for 10 years.
I was always impressed with Senator Feingold’s willingness to buck party lines and vote his conscious. He struck me as doing that more than most, especially at a time when political issues were/are increasingly viewed as “Blue” or “Red” with no middle-ground. I didn’t always agree with his votes, but he was respected as a free-thinker.
Senator Feingold is appearing tonight at 7:00 pm at Barnes & Noble (2289 Broadway, at 82nd) — today is the official publication date for his book.
From Publisher’s Weekly:
In this incisive political memoir, former Wisconsin Senator Feingold analyzes political and military events since September 11, 2001, and provides fascinating glimpses into a senator’s daily life and decision-making process, from cloakroom wheeling and dealing and congressional delegations to Iraq, Asia, and Africa to town hall meetings and confrontations with constituents throughout Wisconsin. Citing Winston Churchill’s While England Slept, Feingold writes: “Negligent and willful oversimplification of complicated new problems, as well as a cynical exploitation of the fears generated by 9/11, have undermined our ability effectively to adjust to a new paradigm for America’s place in the world.” Feingold depicts the increasing perceptual rift between inside-the-beltway politicians and Wisconsinites, exacerbated by a Washington bunker mentality as the anthrax attacks forced senators and their staffs out of their offices and into crowded basements; the Bush administration’s machinations to invade Iraq; and Tea Partiers disrupting his Wisconsin town hall meetings to the point where other constituents stopped showing up. His shockingly reasonable and carefully considered responses, as well as his respect for, and collaboration with, such Republican colleagues as John McCain and John Ashcroft, will make progressives, Wisconsinites, and other frustrated Americans nostalgic for the days of a more thoughtful, productive Congress.
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