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The Good Fight

A Life in Liberal Politics

2014
Author:

Walter F. Mondale

The Good Fight

Reflections on a life in politics and a call for restoring civility to the nation’s political discourse

With a measured tone of reason and a belief in compromise, Walter Mondale reflects on a career of highs and lows with a set of unwavering progressive values at its core. The Good Fight is a compelling account of a lifetime of public service that sheds light on important chapters of recent American history and how they affect our lives today.

Fritz Mondale and I worked side by side in the White House through four intense years of challenges and left office with a friendship that would last a lifetime. We were also able to tell the American people: ‘We told the truth, we obeyed the law, we kept the peace.’ This memoir is a compelling history of those years and of the life of the remarkable man I know Fritz to be.

President Jimmy Carter

During more than five decades in public life, Walter Mondale has played a leading role in America’s movement for social change—in civil rights, environmentalism, consumer protection, and women’s rights—and helped to forge the modern Democratic Party. Here, with a measured tone of reason and a belief in compromise, Mondale reflects on a career of highs and lows with a set of unwavering progressive values at its core. Including a new preface in this paperback edition, The Good Fight is a compelling account of a lifetime of public service that sheds light on important events and issues of recent American history and how they affect our lives today.

The Good Fight

Walter F. Mondale has figured prominently in American politics for five decades, as a state attorney general, U.S. senator from Minnesota, vice president of the United States, Democratic candidate for president in 1984, and U.S. ambassador to Japan. He lives in Minneapolis.

David Hage is an editor at the Star Tribune of Minneapolis and St. Paul. His books include Reforming Welfare by Rewarding Work (Minnesota, 2004).

The Good Fight

Fritz Mondale and I worked side by side in the White House through four intense years of challenges and left office with a friendship that would last a lifetime. We were also able to tell the American people: ‘We told the truth, we obeyed the law, we kept the peace.’ This memoir is a compelling history of those years and of the life of the remarkable man I know Fritz to be.

President Jimmy Carter

The Good Fight is Walter Mondale’s personal story and the story of more than half a century of progressive politics, of its victories and defeats in the search for civil rights, social justice, and economic opportunity for all Americans. Walter Mondale is the best kind of public man—intelligent, honest, hardworking, effective. It’s rare to find a man so good and wise who’s also funny as can be. Whatever your own politics, if you love your country, you should read this book.

President Bill Clinton

An illuminating memoir by a notably decent, thoughtful, genuine, likable, and underestimated American leader. Walter Mondale offers a memorable, sometimes surprising account of vanished worlds—a prewar country boyhood, the liberal farmer-labor politics of old Minnesota, a U.S. Senate in which collegiality was not an epithet, with intriguing glimpses of figures like Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, and Eugene McCarthy—as well as a fresh and revealing look at life with President Jimmy Carter and Mondale’s own campaign for the White House. One cannot read this volume without reflecting on how much our political culture has changed, and by no means entirely for the better.

Michael Beschloss

Our nation would be better off if Walter Mondale’s integrity were a more common public virtue and if voters appreciated straight talk as much as pleasing metaphors.

The Huffington Post

Walter Mondale reestablishes his place in political history as the man who redefined the vice presidency.

Publishers Weekly

Mondale’s is a voice still worth listening to, no matter one’s political persuasion.

Star Tribune

The Good Fight

Contents

Preface
Introduction: Taking Care

1. A Progressive Takes Root
2. High Tide
3. The Fight for Equality
4. Lost Trust: Vietnam and the Election of 1968
5. Poverty and Opportunity
6. The Battle for a More Responsive Senate
7. Spies, Security, and the Rule of Law
8. Meeting a New Democrat
9. Our First Year in the White House
10. Showing the World a Different America
11. America in an Age of Limits
12. Hostage Crisis
13. The Election of 1980
14. Mondale vs. Reagan
15. An Alliance in Asia
16. Looking Forward

Acknowledgments
Index