While Ohio’s U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has been working hard on behalf of Ohoians and all ordinary people across the country since he was sworn in back in January 2007, he also found time to write a third book. (His first, 2004’s The Myths of Free Trade, explained the intricacies of trade deals that are often subject to sloganeering support or opposition, while his 2011 book, Congress from the Inside, looks at what it’s like to be in the majority and the minority in the Senate).
Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America, published late last year, explores the eight senators who shared the desk he now occupies in the Senate chamber. They include Hugo Black, who after his senate term, served as a U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1937-1971, Robert F. Kennedy, George McGovern, and Al Gore Sr., father of the 2000 presidential candidate. He reveals their complexities ad contradictions: Black, for instance, while a New Deal progressive, voted in favor of the interment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and for the right of states to ban birth control.
A better understanding of the real issues and obstacles confronting those in our U.S. Senate (in addition to Mitch McConnell, of course) as they (or some anyway) try to work to improve the lives of Americans is more important now than ever as we’re facing a critical election. Now is a good time to bone up, and read this revelatory book.