Memoir of the former New Jersey Govenor
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Non-Fiction Political | Non-Fiction Memoir
In August 2004, Governor James E. McGreevey of New Jersey
made history when he stepped before microphones, declared
"My truth is that I am a gay American," and announced his
resignation. The story made international headlines-;but
what led to that moment was a human and political drama more
complex and fascinating than anyone knew. Now, in this
extraordinarily candid memoir, McGreevey shares his story of
a life of ambition, moral compromise, and redemption.
From childhood, McGreevey lived a kind of idealized American
life. The son of working-class Irish Catholic parents, named
for an uncle who died at Iwo Jima, he strove to exceed
expectations in everything he did, meeting each new
challenge as though his "future rode on every move." As a
young man he was tempted by the priesthood, yet it was
another calling—politics—that he found irresistible.
Plunging early into the dangerous waters of New Jersey
politics, he won three elections by the age of thirty-six,
and soon thereafter nearly toppled the state's popular
governor, Christie Todd Whitman, in a photo-finish election.
Four years later, he won the governorship by a landslide.
Throughout his adult life, however, Jim McGreevey had been
forced to suppress a fundamental truth about himself: that
he was gay. He knew at once that the only clear path to his
dreams was to live a straight life, and so he split in two,
accepting the traditional role of family man while denying
his deepest emotions. And he discovered, to his surprise,
that becoming a political player demanded ethical shortcuts
that became as corrosive as living in the closet. In the
cutthroat culture of political bosses, backroom deals, and
the insidious practice known as "pay-to-play," he writes,
"political compromises came easy to me because I'd learned
how to keep a part of myself innocent of them." His policy
triumphs as governor were tempered by scandal, as the
transgressions of his staff came back to haunt him. Yet only
when a former lover threatened to expose him did he finally
confront his divided soul, and find the authentic self that
had always eluded him.
More than a coming-out memoir, The Confession is the story
of one man's quest to repair the rift between his public and
private selves, at a time in our culture when the personal
and political have become tangled like frayed electric
cables. Teeming with larger-than-life characters, written
with honesty, grace, and rare insight into what it means to
negotiate the minefields of American public life, it may be
among the most honest political memoirs ever written.
Today - April 28, 2007
CBS Sunday Morning - October 1, 2006
Late Show with David Letterman - September 28, 2006
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Larry King Live - September 21, 2006
Fresh Air - NPR - September 21, 2006
The View - September 20, 2006
Countdown with Keith Olbermann - September 20, 2006
Today - September 20, 2006
Anderson Cooper 360 - September 19, 2006
Oprah - September 19, 2006
Good Morning America - September 19, 2006
Late Show with David Letterman - September 12, 2006
The View - May 22, 2006
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