Nancy Pelosi, Just Scratching The Surface

The speaker's
The speaker's "Know Your Power" is a slight volume of encouragement. (By Harry Cabluck -- Associated Press)
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who is a columnist and editorial writer for The Washington Post
Wednesday, August 6, 2008; Page C01

KNOW YOUR POWER

A Message to America's Daughters

By Nancy Pelosi with Amy Hill Hearth

Doubleday. 180 pp. $23.95

MADAM SPEAKER

Nancy Pelosi's Life, Times, and Rise to Power

By Marc Sandalow

Modern Times. 300 pp. $25.95

Newly moved to San Francisco in 1969, bunking at her mother-in-law's with four small children, Nancy Pelosi found the perfect house after months of desperate searching. She was ecstatic, until she learned that the rental had become available only because the owner was moving to Washington to work in the Nixon administration.

End of deal. Back to Nana's.

This story appears in two new books about the first female speaker of the House, neither of which does a terribly good job at grappling with the implications of its spite-your-face partisanship. Pelosi tells the story on herself in the slight (in every sense of the word) "Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters." You might think, with the wisdom of hindsight, that her message to America's daughters would be to clear out of the in-laws', politics be damned.

Nope. "Our daughter, Alexandra, who hadn't been born yet, often says to me that she knows everything she needs to know about me by hearing that story," Pelosi writes proudly.


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