Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Book Review: "Straight from the Heart"

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Book Review: "Straight from the Heart"

Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny

When Ann Richards attended a Democratic event in Harrisburg, it was impressive to see such an outspoken woman state her opinions (which, I will argue, were always right on target). Yet, I had to slightly cringe, but not because of her speech. It was due to the music. Having read Ann Richard’s book "Straight From the Heart", I knew that her song was "Deep in the Heart of the Texas" and never "Yellow Rose of Texas". I suspect as Ann Richards entered the room and the band struck up "Yellow Rose of Texas", a part of her was probably thinking "what, hasn’t everyone read my book yet?"

This autobiography of Ann Richards allows us to follow the political transformation of Texas and of our nation in the eyes of someone who participated in the changes. She grew up amidst segregation and notes how racial prejudice is fostered upon ignorance and unfamiliarity.

Ann Richard’s book traces the evolution of politics and society. Having volunteered in Ella Grasso’s campaign, this reviewer recalls she was the first woman ever elected Governor in this country whose husband wasn’t a Governor before her. It is assuring that voters today no longer see women statewide candidates as a novelty to be greeted with suspicion. Yet, as Ann Richards notes, men continue to dominate the proportion of elected offices.

It was in college that one class changed the direction of Ann Richards’s life: Speech class. It would mold the woman who decades later would utter the famous line before the Democratic National Convention that "Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."

Readers follow Ann Richards through her days with the Young Democrats in alliance with Lyndon Johnson Democrats fighting conservative Democrats led by Allan Shivers. We learn how she led the North Dallas Democratic Women and how the FBI infiltrated its section which advocated integration. We feel the sadness of what it was like to be at the luncheon which John F. Kennedy was headed towards, but never made, on the day of his assassination.

Ann Richards shows readers her personal side and struggles. She describes what it is like being epileptic. What it is like to fight alcoholism. What is like to be a woman running for office in Texas.

This is a great book from the former Governor of Texas and, as she promises, a frequent upcoming visitor to Pennsylvania. And spread the word, next time: "Deep in the Heart of Texas".


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