A former five-term U.S. Senator reflects on his successful bipartisan career.
Against the Grain is the political and spiritual memoir of Senator Mark O. Hatfield (July 12, 1922 – August 7, 2011), one of the most progressive politician in the Republican Party since Abraham Lincoln. Against the Grain details his opposition to the Vietnam war, successful drafting of the Soviet-American nuclear freeze legislation with Democratic Senator. Ted Kennedy, and his strong stands of conscience on health reform, the death penalty, and the balanced budget amendment that typically ran counter to the Republican mainstream. This eloquent memoir also lays out Hatfield’s spirituality, the source of his stands on conscience, as well as reflections on creating a new revolution in American politics and society.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark O. Hatfield
ENDORSEMENTS & REVIEWS
“No matter whether you agree with him or not, everyone who has had the pleasure of serving with him knows that Mark Hatfield is a man of integrity and that his word is his bond.” ~ Senator Bob Dole
“He has lived his convictions as well as anyone I have ever known in public life. Because he has always tried to love his enemies, he has no enemies. This town is the poorer for his leaving but the richer for his legacy.” ~ President Bill Clinton
“In this informative, if inconsistently engaging, autobiography, former five-term U.S. Senator Hatfield traces the origins of his political and religious beliefs, and the various tests of these faiths encountered in a remarkably long political career. Raised in Depression-era Oregon, Hatfield learned early the Populist values of that peculiarly progressive state and came to view poverty as “arguably the most prevalent violence in our society.” During service in the navy, he witnessed both the horror of war at Iwo Jima and Okinawa and of its aftermath, in postwar Hiroshima. In his political career, Hatfield thus became a determined defender of the powerless and an ardent opponent of military folly, especially that of the Vietnam war. Much of the book deals with his early and persistent opposition to that war and the pressures he faced from constituents, colleagues, and presidents because of this stance. Hatfield also writes, in a direct yet quiet way, of the strong religious faith that has served him throughout his life, and allowed him to view political opponents not as enemies but as friends with whom he simply disagreed. Not surprisingly, then, he is also critical of the current political culture of “partisanship, misuse of power, and the marketing of politics.” While at times falling into vague banalities “we all belong to the human race” it is nevertheless refreshing and instructive, in this jaded political era, to read the memoirs of an elder statesman who put principle above party, and the well-being of the community above that of his career.” ~ Publishers Weekly