Triumphs and Less in American Politics
By Bob Livingston, 2018 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 296 pp
This is the extraordinary story of an extraordinary man. Bob Livingston’s memoir starts with his beginnings in a troubled family through his time in the Navy, law school, first jobs and finally his entry into politics as the first Republican Congressman from his district near New Orleans, LA since before the Depression.
The story hits its rhythm, as they say in sports, as his 22 years in the U.S. Congress unfolds. The climax comes when he ascends to Speaker, only to have it snatched away at the last minute.
Along the way, Bob explains in simple language his common-sense politics and comments on past and current people and events from his own perspective. What emerges is a very attractive conservative philosophy which is worth reading for its own sake.
The reader is also struck by the author’s honesty, even humility — a quality not commonly expected in a politician. This perspective is particularly evident as he details the background and events surrounding the House impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton. That segment adds a first-hand account of his part in that historical epic, with all the pathos and tragedy he and his supporters experienced.
Equally enlightening is his assessment of the impact of those sad days through the years that followed. Altogether a valuable and occasionally riveting addition to the literature of that era.
Amazon Book Review by Larry Fedewa, PhD
Richfield Press 2019.