Bar­ney Frank: The Sto­ry of Amer­i­ca’s Only Left-Hand­ed, Gay, Jew­ish Congressman

Stu­art E. Weisberg
  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
As Chair­man of the Finan­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, Con­gress­man Bar­ney Frank is one of the most pow­er­ful mem­bers of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and was seen prac­ti­cal­ly dai­ly on TV screens the world over dur­ing the finan­cial crises of 2008/09. In this grip­ping biog­ra­phy, Stu­art Weis­berg takes us along on Frank’s life jour­ney, begin­ning in Bay­onne, NJ, where Bar­ney was born in 1940, up to the end of the George W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion, and intro­duces us to many of the peo­ple who influ­enced him along the way.

Even as a child, Bar­ney dis­played bril­liance and had a cer­tain inde­pen­dent streak. These char­ac­ter­is­tics remained with him as he moved from Bay­onne via Har­vard and local pol­i­tics to the peaks of pow­er, mak­ing both friends and ene­mies and inter­act­ing with some of the most pow­er­ful as well as with pow­er­less peo­ple and even scoundrels.

Weis­berg, a for­mer Con­gres­sion­al staffer who worked with Bar­ney Frank, has filled his book with fas­ci­nat­ing details that shed light on the machi­na­tions of politi­cians and what it means to be an ide­al­ist, a prag­ma­tist, and a homo­sex­u­al at one and the same time. Illus­tra­tions, index.
Peter L. Roth­holz head­ed his own Man­hat­tan-based pub­lic rela­tions agency and taught at the Busi­ness and Lib­er­al Arts (BALA) pro­gram at Queens Col­lege. He lives in East Hamp­ton, NY and San­ta Mon­i­ca, CA and is a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Jew­ish publications.

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