It's a classic story of the American Dream. George Mitchell grew up in a working class family in Maine, experiencing firsthand the demoralizing effects of unemployment when his father was laid off from a lifelong job. But education was always a household priority, and Mitchell embraced every opportunity that came his way, eventually becoming the ranking Democrat in the Senate during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Told with wit, frankness, and a style all his own, Senator Mitchell's memoir reveals many insights into the art of negotiation. Mitchell looks back at his adventures in law and politics - including instrumental work on clean air and water legislation, the Iran-Contra hearings, and healthcare reform - as well as life after the Senate, from leading the successful Northern Ireland peace process, to serving as chairman of The Walt Disney Company, to heading investigations into the use of steroids in baseball and unethical activity surrounding the Olympic Games. Through it all, Senator Mitchell's incredible stories - some hilarious, others tragic, all revealing - offer invaluable insights into critical moments in the last half-century of business, law, and politics, both domestic and international.
As someone who grew up in Maine and met Senator George Mitchell a few times, I was really hoping that this book would dive deeply into the process and what was at stake in each of the negotiations outlined to better understand what he brought to the table because Maine was very proud to have him as Senate Majority leader and the peacemaker for many international conflicts. But instead it reads like a survey of his life at these times and doesn’t get into the details of how he was able to find compromise, just that compromises were reached and how he was always trying to do best by the people of Maine, US, Disney shareholders, baseball fans, Northern Ireland, Middle East, etc. The stories are good and often have a lot of wit and colloquial charm to them, but lacked some depth on the negotiations process itself.
Additionally the audio quality is very choppy and sounds like five different audio engineers worked on this production with different mics, punch-in points. A little cut-and-pastey.