by Ray Bendici
Oct 22, 2012
09:02 AMUnsteady Habits
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Purmont used interviews with family members, friends and political associates, as well as his own diary from ther period in which he worked for Grasso, to complete this definitive biography. He tells of her victories and struggles, her balancing act of political and family life, and her heroic battle with the cancer that eventually ended her life.
The book provides great insight to Grasso's career and mindset, and clearly was a labor of love from Purmont to his departed friend. Unlike other biographies that sometimes needlessly look to create drama to liven up the narrative, Purmont essentially sticks to the actual events, which he augments well with stories and comments from those who were there with the governor throughout her career.
I was only an adolescent when Grasso was in office, but I do remember that Governor Graso was incredibly popular, mainly for being someone who wasn't beholden to doing and saying popular things, but for doing the right—and often, difficult—things for the state. She didn't change who she was in order to curry favor; instead, she steadfastly remained herself, which gave her true power. It also helped that she was dedicated, hard-working and determined, and put the office of governor before herself.
In these times when it seems most politicians govern "with a finger to the wind" (to paraphrase a comment from Mr. Weicker), it'd be nice to be able to have more candidates like Ella Grasso, who valued the opportunity to serve for the right reasons, not financial ones.
The book is available from Amazon.com, among other retailers.