IOWA AND THE WORLD: MEMOIRS OF SENATOR DICK CLARK
State College, Penna., 2017. Pp. xi, 183. US$25. Paperback.
ISBN: 978-1-936466-16-0

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Political exposé, position piece, rattling good yarn: Senator Clark’s Memoirs cross a broad and diverse terrain. There are priceless vignettes—the misanthropic Marcos holding audience from a five-foot elevation over the suppliant—and hidden pearls of wisdom—the myriad ways of assuring uniform benefit for conference participants—and above all some finely wrought historical narrative, often where the author is a decisive actor. If one were to single out two passages of enduring worth, the first would be the encounter with Steve Biko, and the second, the “tortoise strategy” of the walk across Iowa for election. Yet even in this political odyssey’s more obscure episodes, such as the resettlement program for southeast Asian refugees, one often marvels at the enormity of the undertaking and the attendant concentration of effort.

SENATOR DICK CLARK was elected Senator from Iowa in 1972. He is one of a select few American public servants whose name is associated with the downfall of apartheid in South Africa: his defeat in the senatorial campaign of 1978 resulted in part from the South African government’s secret and illegal monetary contributions to his opponent. He subsequently spent many years founding and directing the Congressional Program of the Aspen Institute, through which members of the United States Congress receive incisive non-partisan orientation in current issues of foreign and domestic policy.


 

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