Shortest Way Home

One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future
Narrated by: Pete Buttigieg
Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4,534 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A mayor's inspirational story of a Midwest city that has become nothing less than a blueprint for the future of American renewal.

Once described by The Washington Post as "the most interesting mayor you've never heard of", Pete Buttigieg, the 36-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has improbably emerged as one of the nation's most visionary politicians. First elected in 2011, Buttigieg left a successful business career to move back to his hometown, previously tagged by Newsweek as a "dying city", because the industrial Midwest beckoned as a challenge to the McKinsey-trained Harvard graduate. Whether meeting with city residents on middle-school basketball courts, reclaiming abandoned houses, confronting gun violence, or attracting high-tech industry, Buttigieg has transformed South Bend into a shining model of urban reinvention.

While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home interweaves two once unthinkable success stories: that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a Rust Belt city so thoroughly transformed that it shatters the way we view America's so-called flyover country.

©2019 Pete Buttigieg (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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This book gives hope for the future

I enjoyed meeting Pete through this book and his narration. At 60+ years old, I did not expect to be impressed by him, but surprisingly I found his story and work to be important information as I ponder the upcoming 2020 presidential election. In the book, he came across as authentic and very different from other political hopefuls. I don't know if he can get to the presidency, but he did give me hope for a better future.

13 people found this helpful

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AWESOME! 5 Star book!!!

This book was way out of my usual reading zone, so I was skeptical when I got the sample. But after hearing the sample on Audible, I quickly bought it. Truthfully, it is a great book! Pete reminds me of a young JFK. I don't say that lightly. The easy way he has of communication in difficult situations and remarkable intelligence for someone so young is stunning! I mean his name, Pete Buttigieg, is one you are going to hear for many years to come in American stage of politics! I encourage you to sample this book and I am sure you will be intrigued to listen some more. It is easy to really delve into his world, and get to know this up and coming politician. 5 Star Book!

65 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Reveals a Person Wise & Experienced & Literate

I have been reading books and papers written by current candidates running for President. I am a lifelong Democrat be side I care deeply about the U.S. Constitution and the diversity that is America. I had candidates that interested me before seeing how many candidates there are runnjng. I like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Julian Castro.

I knew nothing about Pete Buttigieg except that he was Mayor of South Bend. When you say Indiana to me, I think of Pence and Notre Dame, neither being favorites of mine. I saw Buttigieg interviewed on CNN and other TV appearances such as Late Night with Steven Colbert. I was impressed. I wanted to know more about him. I saw he had authored a book about his life. It was on Audible and he was the narrator of his own story.

Pete Buttigieg is experienced beyond his actual years. He speaks Arabic and other languages. He is veteran being serviced in the Middle East. He is a Rhodes Scholar. He has worked analyzing data for the private sector traveling all over the world. He is Mayor of a complicated city in midwest. He is a person who truly knows words and understands their weight.

I am intrigued by Pete Buttigieg. I want everyone to read/listen to his book. Know about him before you decide. I know the majority of candidates will be on the sidelines within the year. I hope Pete Buttigieg is still a viable candidate as I feel he has an important voice in this election.

74 people found this helpful

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Uplifting

I am attempting to read books by the various presidential candidates for the 2020 election. The list is long and Buttigieg is one of them. Buttigieg tells the story of his life to date. He appears to be a very smart young man. He graduated from Harvard and was a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford. He is a Navy veteran. He is the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He studied government in school and he did a summer internship with Senator Teddy Kennedy. These two things do allow him some knowledge about the workings of government. I am sure that being gay in Indiana has not been easy. He speaks eight languages they are English, Norwegian, French, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic and Dari. He learned Dari while in the Navy stationed in Afghanistan. It is a Persian dialect. He learned Maltese and Italian from his father who was born in Malta. He was encouraged to learn languages from his mother, Anne Montgomery, who is a linguist and a retired professor from Notre Dame University.

The book is well written and I must say I was impressed with his background, education, language skills and government knowledge. To top it off he also plays piano and guitar. He states one of his goal is to attempt to reunite the country. That is badly needed, but I am not sure it is achievable. I was impressed that he stated the mistakes he has made as mayor and what he did or will do to correct the problems. I will continue my study of the candidates and do not have enough information about all of them to even begin to choose one.

The book is nine hours and fifty-seven minutes. Pete Buttigieg narrated the book himself. It was great to listen to him speak.

8 people found this helpful

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Important, Intelligent, and Personal

The Shortest Way Home restores hope in people, political leadership, and the future of our world. Any community, state, or nation of people would be fortunate to have the kind of thoughtful, reflective human represented in these pages, in positions of public service.

17 people found this helpful

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The Future We Can Elect Today

Powerful. A message the country needs to hear. Listening to his journey so far makes me even more excited to see where his campaign takes him. Kudos to Chasten for letting the rest of the country take a peek into an inspiring message about the strength of community, love and commitment.

21 people found this helpful

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Smart, Thoughtful, and Most Interestingly Normal

5/5 Stars

“Good policy, like good literature, takes personal lived experience as its starting point. At its best, the practice of politics is about taking steps that support people in daily life—or tearing down obstacles that get in their way. Much of the confusion and complication of ideological battles might be washed away if we held our focus on the lives that will be made better, or worse, by political decisions, rather than on the theoretical elegance of the policies or the character of the politicians themselves.”

~ Pete Buttigieg

This book was actually hard to give a rating if I’m honest. It was excellent, but not in the way I usually expect excellence from a book. It wasn’t fast paced and action packed. It wasn’t moving or emotional. But it was smart, extremely smart, and it was thoughtful. It made me think… a lot. It made me lift my head and pause my audiobook and go, “Hm.” It made me slow my regular jaunt on the elliptical and stare out the window at my office gym in silent contemplation. And for that, I give it five stars.

I caveat my five star rating with that introduction, though, because even for memoir, this book was different. Memoir, in my experience at least, usually involves some kind of riveting subject matter: fanatical religions; conversion therapy; abusive parents; famous figures; hilarious anecdotes; and cooky adventures, things of that nature. SHORTEST WAY HOME features exactly none of that. Yet, it still held me. It held me in a way Michelle Obama’s book Becoming held me. It held me because it was smart and thoughtful and… normal. It held me because Mayor Pete has good, sound ideas, and because he is refreshingly honest. He is human in a way that is endearing, as anyone who has seen him do an interview probably already knows. His memoir is quiet and contemplative, yet not without passion. In fact, it has a surprising amount of passion for a surprising array of subjects. Interestingly enough, this book had me excitedly texting my father (an environmental engineer) about its extensive discussion of how South Bend, Indiana, used the minds at nearby Notre Dame to help develop a new sewer system which saved not only the environment, but also money. But it’s this fact––that the book makes the ordinary seem extraordinary––that made it deserve all the stars.

In addition to that, Mayor Pete himself is startlingly impressive, though I bet he is too humble to claim such an adjective. Yet, there is no other that fits him quite right. He is only 37 years old (six years older than me, but who’s counting?) and he’s already accomplished so much. He went to Harvard, then was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He worked for a big consulting firm, worked on various campaigns (including for John Kerry and President Obama), then before he was even thirty, was elected mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He was also an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserves, serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan (while he was mayor, people). Oh, and he wrote and published this book I’m talking about. P.s. he’s also running for President of the United States as the country’s first openly gay candidate. Like… what? This man, I’m telling you.

Anyway, like I said, you might not be glued to your seat, eyes wide as your fingers tremble to turn the next page, but Shortest Way Home is a must read for any policy nerd who loves America and wants to be challenged into rethinking some of our most deeply held beliefs. Oh, and I listened on Audible and Mayor Pete narrated it himself and for a first timer, he did a great job!

6 people found this helpful

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such an amazing story! very articulate story.

such an amazing and articulate story. Pete is earnest and hopeful for progressive idealists everywhere.

27 people found this helpful

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Fast wonderful story read by the author

Pete is so open and genuine. You won’t regret listening to his story and that of his hometown of South Bend IN. Now a NYT best seller!! Enjoy!! Thanks-Pete!!!

13 people found this helpful

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This Book is a Bright Light in the present days of darkness

Mayor Pete's story is inspiring and marks the start of the next generations rise in political leadership.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Vikki Marie Gaynor
  • 04-04-19

This is one person who will impact the world

really enjoyed the story .. his heartfelt talk on how he became the person I like to say is the Next Obama...
I respect the former president so much however on listening to this I see a new runner in the American leadership battle that if he plays well with the old white dudes in the house ..
He will bring energy and much needed common sense to a government that is in desperate need for it..
A good well read book xx

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  • tedhill
  • 04-22-19

Fantastically written and read

I’m a huge fan of Buttegieg, even more after listening to this - he’s an excellent writer with a great story to tell, just the write level of detail without getting bogged down in facts. It’s honest and candid and just great

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  • Rich C
  • 04-14-19

Compelling

As a Brit with a little interest in the coming Presidential elections I’ve been making some effort to listen to what the candidates have to say. Having finished this it’s easy to see why millions of Americans are warming to Mayor Pete. This book starts pretty slow, with a lot of anecdotes about growing up in 1980s / 90s Indiana which will probably fascinate some listeners and bore others to death. Once he gets into his swing, speaking about his time in the armed forces, his rise through the Democratic Party and his tenure as Mayor, it’s impossible to turn off. Pete’s performance is strong without getting distracting and I found myself feeling sad when I heard the word ‘acknowledgments’. Definitely recommend.

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  • Paul O'Dwyer
  • 04-11-19

South Bend here we come

Rowan Atkinson may be his lookalike nemesis but that is where the Mr Bean similarity ends. Mayor Pete himself narrates this brilliantly written story so well he can pick up an Audible narrating job if the voters kick him out. I like the interlocking of different topics – small town South Bend, the military, election fever, Iraq war, discrimination, culture, Indiana food, the Dems, being in love & Mid-West life. He somehow manages to keep it lively throughout. I am a biography fan, and this is one of the best. Maybe the better compliment is I now want to visit South Bend. 

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  • Maria Ward-Brennan
  • 04-10-19

A breathtaking politician

It was a deep and well-written book that demonstrates a very intelligent and kind-hearted man. This book is now one of my favourite autobiographies.

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  • Fifa Rahman
  • 04-06-19

Compelling, erudite, relatable

More compelling and interesting than Kamala Harris’s book, which gets dry in the middle when she’s talking about mortgage fraud and goes on for far too long than she should.

Buttigieg talks about efficiency in mayoral decisions, dealing with the far right, coming out as gay as mayor, his experience in the Armed Forces, and his experience running for DNC Chair, with clarity, eloquence, and relatability. Importantly, he points out where he went wrong or where he thought he made learnings. This man exhibits epistemological humility throughout this book; a contrast to this current Presidency.

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  • Hamish
  • 04-05-19

A great book about the best 2020 Candidate

Pete caught my attention in the media and I wanted to know more. This book confirmed he is the real deal: intelligent, integrous, pragmatic and experienced enough for the role of President. My favorite candidate by far. America needs Pete Buttigieg!