An Uncommon Man: The Life and Times of Senator Claiborne Pell
G. Wayne MillerE-book: $24.99
|E-book ISBN 13:|
|E-book Publication Date:||10/11/2011|
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Meticulously researched. . . . Miller’s is the only biography of the senator of any consequence. . . . His is a good book. It is totally readable, it leaves no questions unanswered, it does not soft-pedal thorny issues. . . . Miller carries Pell from boyhood through school, college, World War II Coast Guard service, State Department employment and politics. He shows that the senator could be oddball, quirky, eccentric, Mr. Magoo, an embracer of popular issues (metric measure for America), a legislator compromiser (except with Jesse Helms), and a formidable candidate with an excellent staff.
--The Providence Journal
With help from Pell’s family, access to records and collections, and the input of friends and colleagues, Miller (The Xeno Chronicles) presents a multi-faceted account of Rhode Island’s six-term, Democratic Senator, Claiborne Pell (1918-2009), touching on his political career, family life, and varied interests. Best known for the Pell Grants that enable students to afford a college education, Pell made significant contributions to a wide range of issues, including: peace, the environment, and laws against drunk driving. Although independently wealthy, he lived frugally. He also maintained an interest in the paranormal which his political opponents tried to use against him. Despite coming under attack for his wealth as well as his politics, he refused to campaign negatively and won a broad base of support by creating political alliances. His refusal to engage in polemics and his belief that half a loaf was better than none increased his effectiveness as a politician.
He was the right kind of aristocrat: a champion by choice, not circumstance, of the common good and our common future and our common dreams, in a long life of grace, generous spirit, kind heart, and determination, right to the very end.
His sense of honor, integrity, decency and dignity remain timeless. They are the values and traits that are always needed in such a heterogeneous democracy as ours.
He was a senator for our time and for all time. He was an original.
--the late Ted Kennedy
G. WAYNE MILLER is a filmmaker, staff writer at the Providence Journal, and author of seven books.