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Never Give In
Arlen Specter

Battling Cancer in the Senate

Thomas Dunne Books
March 2008
On Sale: March 18, 2008
288 pages
ISBN: 0312383061
EAN: 9780312383060
Hardcover
$24.95
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Non-Fiction Memoir

This is not simply the memoir of a cancer survivor. Nor is it just the memoir of a respected senator. This is an unprecedented glimpse into a man who is both. It is inspiration for people of all political persuasions; of how to persevere and succeed---despite what the doctors may say, despite what the tests might show.

In early 2004, Senator Specter was in the midst of a grueling primary race, facing significant opposition from the right as he worked to win his party’s nomination to run for reelection for his Pennsylvania senate seat. It would be the most difficult election in his quarter-century career in the Senate. Following on its heels were two more challenges---the general-election race and opposition to his elevation as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, his lifelong ambition. He overcame all three challenges in time for his seventy-fifth birthday.

But exhaustion and fatigue---initially thought to be the aftereffects of months of vigorous campaigning---were found to be far more serious. After a series of tests and consultation with several doctors, Specter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, Stage IVB, the most advanced stage.

He had received death sentences before and lived to tell about it. To Senator Specter, this diagnosis was another challenge. After all, he still had a job to do.

His cancer treatments came as he reached the height of his power---surrounded by political storms that polarized Washington and threatened to shut the Senate down. His leadership positions made it his job to manage Supreme Court nominations and public-health appropriations as he faced his own illness. He had fought on public-health issues for years, but now it added potency to the message that the messenger was ailing himself.

The phrase “Never give in” became Specter’s mantra, invoking the famous words from Churchill in his battle with cancer. This moving book describes the treatment the Senator received and offers his advice on how to handle the side effects (both visible and private), hair loss, and of course, maintain a nearly daily squash regimen. So, how does one move forward when faced with mortality? It’s simple. Work.

"Understanding Arlen Specter's steely endurance is a key to understanding his success in the Senate and in life. Look up tenacity in the dictionary and you'll find Arlen's picture. Trial by fire has tempered him and made him stronger, and wiser."-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee)

“Written in Senator Specter’s trademark candor, Never Give In is a compelling tale of survival – both personal and political – from one of the Senate’s most independent voices. Riding the train home with him now for almost 25 years, I count Arlen among my closest friends in the Senate.  The words courageous and inspiring hardly do him justice – but trust me, he is both.”-- Senator Joe Biden (D-DE)

“I’ve been privileged to work side by side with Arlen for over 18 years.  While I respect his intelligence and honesty, and value his friendship, perhaps most of all I have admired his toughness in the face of adversity.  He just never gives up.”—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Media Buzz

Daily Show with Jon Stewart - March 27, 2008
Charlie Rose - March 27, 2008
The View - March 19, 2008
Daily Show with Jon Stewart - March 19, 2008
Today - March 18, 2008

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