The Senator Next Door

A Memoir from the Heartland
Narrated by: Amy Klobuchar
Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the US Senate's most candid - and funniest - women tells the story of her life and her unshakeable faith in our democracy.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has tackled every obstacle she's encountered - her parents' divorce, her father's alcoholism and recovery, her political campaigns and Washington's gridlock - with honesty, humor and pluck. Now, in The Senator Next Door, she chronicles her remarkable heartland journey, from her immigrant grandparents to her middle-class suburban upbringing to her rise in American politics.

After being kicked out of the hospital while her infant daughter was still in intensive care, Klobuchar became the lead advocate for one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing new moms and their babies a 48-hour hospital stay. Later she ran Minnesota's biggest prosecutor's office and in 2006 was the first woman elected to the US Senate from her state. Along the way she fashioned her own political philosophy grounded in her belief that partisan flame-throwing takes no courage at all; what really matters is forging alliances with unlikely partners to solve the nation's problems.

Optimistic, plainspoken and often very funny, The Senator Next Door is a story about how the girl next door decided to enter the fray and make a difference. At a moment when America's government often seems incapable of getting anything done, Amy Klobuchar proves that politics is still the art of the possible.

©2015 Amy Klobuchar (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

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The way a senator should be

When I began listening to this book, I was afraid that I would be unable to concentrate on it, and would become bored and waste my credit. Happily, I was wrong. I could not stop listening, and finished in just a few days. Senator Klobuchar provides a window into her life and politics that is incredibly refreshing and optimistic. In her writings she describes amd praises republican colleagues as well as democrats, and writes a passionate defense of bipartisanship. I also enjoyed learning more about her life, mostly positive recollections that help show how she became the person she is. She did a good job narrating as well, I would not have wanted another narrator. I hope she gains more recognition, and would enthusiastically vote for her if she ran for president.

5 people found this helpful

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Uncommonly Decent

I believe this book went to press in 2015, only 4 years ago in chronological time but millennia in "real" time. That was before November 9, 2016 when everything changed. I suspect the last chapter of this memoir would have been far less hopeful had it been completed 2 years later than it was. I've observed Senator Klobuchar when she has questioned those testifying before her during a Senate committee investigation; she is courteous but extremely firm and to the point. She brooks no nonsense, obscuration, or mendacity. I know she would have said far more at the conclusion of a book written in 2019 than she did in 2015. That context is important for anyone reading her book. It needs to be taken into account.

Basically Senator Klobuchar is a daughter of our country's heartland, a child of working people, and grandchild of immigrants--a Minnesotan to the bone. She worked hard (very, very hard) to fund her education, graduating from Yale and the University of Chicago School of Law. As the mother of a seriously ill baby, she nonetheless worked her way to partner in a law firm and later began a successful political career. Her marriage, throughout all of this, has remained intact, and she has managed to form alliances in the Senate with members of both parties in order to accomplish important legislation.

I believe the rumors that she can be difficult to work with, that she is exceedingly demanding. Although she was gracious and complimentary of family, friends, and colleagues throughout this book, her high standards for herself were evident. I believe she requires the same dedication and focus from those around her that she commands of herself. It can be challenging to be around someone with that intensity of drive and desire for perfection.

At this time, Senator Klobuchar is running for President of the United States in 2020. I am convinced that she would do an excellent job in that exalted office. If she is the Democratic candidate I will vote for her and encourage others to do so. But I doubt that will ensue because she lacks necessary charisma for inspiring the passion required to be nominated for that position. Yet she is an excellent senator and would be an invaluable asset to a new administration if placed in any number of important positions of trust.

This book appears authentic, reflecting the Senator herself. It thoroughly does the job it sets out to do with no fanfare or hyperbole. In her own voice on the audiobook, Senator Klobuchar relates her family background and her life from childhood to the present. She is clear, precise and uncommonly decent, all of which are essential, although recently very scarce, attributes in a public servant. I am thankful that she has given years of her life to our political process. We need many more like her to heal the wounds of our nation.

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Surprised

Honestly surprised that I would relate to Sen. Klobuchar. After some of the things I heard reported about her in the media from her staff, it doesn’t necessarily ring true. She seems a fair minded lady who from her core cares about people and her country. I’m reading/listening to books on Dem presidential candidates. After completing six of them her and Mayor Pete are my top two.

2 people found this helpful

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An engaging surprise

I've been reading books by all the major democratic presidential candidates, because I was not familiar enough with any of them. Senator Klobuchar's book is a standout. It's very long and detailed (I listened at 1.5 speed). This turns out to be a feature, not a bug. By understanding her background and history in depth, you understand her legislative philosophy and priorities in a very concrete way. You see how she developed and grew as leader, and the results are very impressive. It's also impressive—and a great contrast to some other political memoirs—that she always credits her staff, associates and colleagues by name. She shows respect for their hard work and cooperation, and that speaks well to her character. I highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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A Delightful Memoir

Amy Klobuchar is the first female U. S. Senator from Minnesota. I have found her memoir most interesting and it is not the typical political autobiography. I feel I have actually discovered the real person not the political shell. Recently I have read a number of books about women Senator mostly out of curiosity of what made them run for office. I have always been interested in the workings of government but never had the desire to run for an office.

The first part of the book is about her early life. She chronicles her paternal grandparents’ immigration from Slovene and her grandfather life as a miner. She tells of her maternal grandparents’ immigration from Switzerland. Klobuchar tells about her father’s rise through journalism and his battles with alcohol. She describes her mother’s years as a teacher and as a stay-at-home mom, her parents’ divorce and how all that affected her early childhood. She discusses her early school years, high school, and college and law school. She describes her law career and the various cases she worked on. She also goes into her marriage and the birth of her daughter including the ordeal of her daughter’s health problems.

The remainder of the book is about her life in politics, her run for Country Attorney and then her years as the democratic U.S. Senator for Minnesota. Klobuchar is now the senior Senator from Minnesota and has proven herself a consensus builder, effective for her constituents, impervious to scandal, or partisanship and what a surprise she is ethical to the extreme.

The book is well written, at times humorous, honest and meticulously detailed. I came away feeling some hope for the political system. She wrote the book herself without a ghost writer and also narrated it.

11 people found this helpful

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Reading all the DNC candidate books

This book was a series of name dropping and very little of what she stood for. That went on forever it seemed like from the beginning of the book until the last page. I was hoping to understand what she stood for and really did not get that from this book. I did learn about her family, a little about her positions, but not really what makes her tick to the extent some of the other autobiographies gave me. The only thing for sure is I think she has a good moral compass and cares about the greater good.

I am at this point finished with Warren, Sanders, Biden, Buttigieg, Booker, and Harris.

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Very Good!

I like listening to books by presidential candidates to get to know them better. Amy Klobachar would make a great president.

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I would vote for her, but don't make me listen

Would you try another book from Amy Klobuchar and/or Amy Klobuchar?

Senator Klobuchar is a terrible narrator but a great senator, I think. Next time, hire a professional. The text is interesting and worth listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Amy restores my hope for America!

What a breath of fresh air in the political world of constant bickering and bullying. Her moderate stand is what we need to unite this bitterly divided country ... and I wholeheartedly add my voice in hope to promote civility and respect, acknowledging that we are in this life together, and that it really does make sense to unselfishly work to make this country better for everyone! I have not seen nor can I imagine a better candidate to become the next President of the United States! Amy is my hope for America!

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interesting and insightful


An upclose look at the making of a US senator and presidential candidate you'd love as a neighbor

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  • 10-27-19

Excellent book

An excellent book.

Amy is clearly very funny and witty, this came through in her book.

I love her ability to work on a bipartisan basis and get things done!