More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education

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Crown/Archetype, Aug 10, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
Harold Ford Jr. has long distinguished himself as a charismatic, results-oriented politician with fresh ideas. His career began at age 26 after he won his father’s Congressional seat, serving his Tennessee district for ten years. He stepped into the national spotlight with his electric keynote at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and in 2006 his reputation was further shaped during the closest Senate race in Tennessee’s history, which he lost. Ford feels passionately that our country’s best days are ahead, and in More Davids Than Goliaths, he presents his mission statement for America.

Reflecting on what he’s learned from his extended political family, the slings and arrows of the campaign trail, and those across our nation who inspire him, More Davids Than Goliaths explains Ford’s conviction, “At its best, leadership in government can solve, inspire, and heal.” Along the way, Ford reminds us that in America, there are more Davids than Goliaths, more solutions than problems, more that unites us than divides us.
 

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More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education

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The son of a Tennessee congressman, Ford went on to win his father's congressional seat and serve his district for five terms. Here, he explores the many facets of his own successful political life ... Read full review

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There are three overarching themes in Ford’s autobiography—all three are concepts I need to incorporate into my understanding of life, leadership, and public service. One is the necessity of remembering your upbringing and the people who have had a part in what you have become. Another, and perhaps the most important, is that integrity always prevails. The third, the one that resonates with me most, is the necessity of using criticisms from naysayers to propel you rather than paralyze you (i.e., “never giving up”). There were countless instances in Ford’s life when a person or group told him he could not do something but he had the courage to try it anyway. I am grateful I found this book at a time when I almost considered abandoning my life purposes and goals.
Ford’s story, which offers me hope and motivation, can be paraphrased in one quote of inspiration: “You never know when opportunity is going to spring forth. You never know exactly what a given set of circumstances will produce…Often, the moment it seems least likely that something positive will emerge, it does” (106).
A month ago, when asked "Who is your hero?” I, a 28-year-old graduate student, sat perplexed and embarrassed that I couldn't answer the question. I now have the answer; Harold Ford, Jr. is my hero.
 

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About the author (2010)

Harold Ford, Jr., is an executive vice chairman at Bank of America in New York. In addition, he teaches public policy at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and chairs the Democratic Leadership Council. He and his wife, Emily, live in Manhattan.

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