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Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times best seller!

The definitive biography of Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful woman in American political history, written by New York Times best-selling author and USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page.

Featuring more than 150 exclusive interviews with those who know her best - and a series of in-depth, news-making interviews with Pelosi herself - Madam Speaker is unprecedented in the scope of its exploration of Nancy Pelosi’s remarkable life and of her indelible impact on American politics.

Before she was Nancy Pelosi, she was Nancy D’Alesandro. Her father was a big-city mayor and her mother his political organizer; when she encour­aged her young daughter to become a nun, Nancy told her mother that being a priest sounded more appealing. She didn’t begin running for office until she was forty-six years old, her five children mostly out of the nest. With that, she found her calling.

Nancy Pelosi has lived on the cutting edge of the revolution in both women’s roles and in the nation’s movement to a fiercer and more polarized politics. She has established herself as a crucial friend or for­midable foe to US presidents, a master legislator, and an indefatigable political warrior. She took on the Democratic establishment to become the first female Speaker of the House, then battled rivals on the left and right to consolidate her power. She has soared in the sharp-edged inside game of politics, though she has struggled in the outside game - demonized by conservatives, second-guessed by progressives, and routinely underestimated by nearly everyone.

All of this was preparation for the most historic challenge she would ever face, at a time she had been privately planning her retirement. When Donald Trump was elected to the White House, Nancy Pelosi became the Democratic counterpart best able to stand up to the disruptive president and to get under his skin. The battle between Trump and Pelosi, chronicled in this book with behind-the-scenes details and revelations, stands to be the titanic political struggle of our time.

©2021 Susan Page (P)2021 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

“Long considered one of America’s finest journalists, Susan Page’s newest book cements her reputation as one of our foremost political biographers. In exploring the remarkable life of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Susan has painted a compelling portrait of determination, resilience, and patriotism that is the essence of American democracy.” (Former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright) 

"Impressive in scope, elegant in style, and extremely judicious in its use of evidence, Susan Page's MADAM SPEAKER is a must-read biographical portrait of the indomitable Nancy Pelosi. Page, one of America's most admired journalists, has a gift for delivering fresh behind-the-scenes anecdotes and recapturing watershed historical moments in colorful prose. Every page sparkles with revelations. Pelosi is the true power broker of our time. Highly recommended!" (Douglas Brinkley, best-selling author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

"In this story of power, resolve and intrigue, Susan Page has a subject equal to her inordinate talents. She takes us behind the scenes with the Speaker of the House - the most powerful woman in American history - and shows us how Nancy Pelosi conquered a world of guys." (John A. Farrell, New York Times best-selling author of Richard Nixon: The Life)

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What listeners say about Madam Speaker

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Nancy Pelosi, “A True Powerhouse!”

I can honestly say, I know who Nancy Pelosi is, however I found that I really did not know the true “Nancy” until I read this book. I am a strong Independent, and I don’t always agree on the views of the democrats, however I never did drink the Kool-Aid that #45 was serving and refused to buy into the “Corrupt” politicians that I have seen for the previous 4 years, and the ones that continue to act like if we are stupid people and can’t see what reality is, but they continue to be as corrupt as ever to advance their own pollical careers. I genuinely believe, what you put out in the universe does come back to you, so I believe Nancy Pelosi will be remembered as a “Tough as Nails, Titan,” no matter where you stand politically there is no denying this at all!

I am sure not many people know that we would not have “Obama Care” if it was not for Nancy, and YES this program helps all parties! I do not think many people really know what Nancy has done to better the lives of all Americans, because she does stay in the background most of the time, and when she does come to the forefront to speak, she is limited on words that leave you wanting a more detailed explanation. To be honest, I enjoy reading/listening (Audible) about people on both sides of the isle that lead our Country, and I must say, I was shocked to see how much Nancy truly has done and she does not “TOOT” her own horn, which is very refreshing in the current days of our “Toxic Politics.”

I also thought Susan Page did a good job narrating the story on “Audible.” She kept a good tone and kept me interested in the story of Nancy. I can now see why Nancy is so feared by the GOP, and yes, I think they have good reason to fear her, because she is that good and unlike many of the current GOP and some Democratic leaders, she leads with truth and integrity and does not need the spotlight on her to shine. Nancy will definitely shine in our future history books, that’s for sure!

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An education

Exceptional read with great insight into a very unique woman in the life that formed the ‘Speaker’, for whom I have great respect.

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Great read!!

This book is current, fair, and also well researched. Congrats on a well done piece.

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Awful narration/More journalism than bio

There are some interesting new bits in this book and Pelosi is fascinating. But there is very little analysis or thinking beyond that found in a middling newspaper. And the author gives a cautionary tale on the perils of narrating your own work if you are not a skilled reader/actor. She mispronounces multiple words, empasizes inappropriately, and in general is painful to listen to.

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A depiction of Speaker Pelosi’s rise to power

This is a well written biography and for anyone who followed the changes over the past 30 years nationally, it’s an insightful discussion of her views and approach. Well worth the the time to read or listen to.

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Excellent

I have enjoyed Susan Page’s writing over the years. Page chronicles Pelosi’s career in the straight forward way that journalist do. Page is the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today.

The book is well written and researched. Page interviewed Pelosi many times for the book. Page was primarily unbiased and reported on proven facts. There is not any muck raking in this book. I am sure this was a difficult book to write. The sections about her beginning in politics in San Francisco was a trip down memory lane. In the sections about her career in Washington D.C., I learned a number of things I was unaware of about Pelosi. If you are interested in politics, this book will be worth the read.

The book is thirteen hours and forty-two minutes. Susan Page does a good job narrating her book.

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Good book, horrible narration

I also listened to another book on Pelosi so couldn't help comparing. I liked the history given describing generations leading up to Pelosi's ascent. I was just so bothered by the poor pronunciation and sing-song voice of the narrator that placed emphases on the wrong parts of sentences that it was hard to complete the audiobook, but I persevered because of my interest in the person of Nancy Pelosi and the author's point of view.

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Madame Speaker

great read about a great lady. keep going strong Nancy. you are an inspiration to girls/women everywhere.

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Great story

The fascinating background story of Pelosi's upbringing provides tremendous insight into this impressive woman

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Hypnotic

Did not plan to listen to it in one sitting but did. Amazing book about a truly amazing woman. Did not know anything really about her. Compelling leader difficult if not impossible to replace. Read well by author. Presiding over the Democratic party with all its diversity and inner conflict takes a talent that can't be taught. What a marvelous leader she, what a force!