The Observer Book of the Year 'The war hero, senator, secretary of
state and presidential candidate has plenty to write about - and to
be right about' The Guardian 'Frank, thoughtful and clearly written
... What lingers are not the parts but the whole; not the life, but
the man' New York Times 'Draws back the curtain on a life you
thought you knew, but turns out to be a bit different ...
surprisingly personal' Washington Post Every Day Is Extra is John
Kerry's personal story. The title comes from a saying he and his
buddies had in Vietnam. A child of privilege, Kerry went to private
schools and Yale, then enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam
War. He commanded river patrols - swift boats - and was highly
decorated, but he discovered that the truth about what was
happening in Vietnam was different from what the government was
reporting. He returned home disillusioned, became active against
the war, and testified in Congress as a 27-year-old veteran who
opposed the war. Kerry served as a prosecutor in Massachusetts,
then as Massachusetts lieutenant governor, and was elected to the
Senate in 1984. His friendship with the Kennedy family gave him
valuable contacts, but he earned his victory by campaigning hard.
He would be re-elected four times. Kerry's service in the Senate
was distinguished. Unlike most senators, who travel on foreign
junkets for "fact-finding missions," Kerry travelled to the
Philippines and based on what he learned, helped to orchestrate the
peaceful transition from Ferdinand Marcos to the duly elected
Corazon Aquino government. He played an active role in the BCCI and
Iran-Contra matters. In 2004 he ran for president against the
incumbent, George W. Bush and came within one state - Ohio - of
winning. In Every Day Is Extra he explains why he chose not to
contest widespread voting irregularities in Ohio, fearing that
after the 2000 election went to the U.S. Supreme Court, another
challenge would undermine confidence in the voting system. Kerry
returned to the Senate, endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton
in 2008, and when Clinton resigned in 2012 to run for the
presidency, Kerry was confirmed as Secretary of State. In that
position he tried - and like all his predecessors, failed - to find
peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (he is critical
of both sides but especially Prime Minister Netanyahu); dealt with
the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS; negotiated the Iran
nuclear deal; and signed the Paris climate accord. This is a
personal book, sometimes angry, sometimes funny, always moving.
Secretary Kerry describes some of the remarkable events of his
life, such as discovering that his paternal grandfather committed
suicide - something his father never told him - and that this
grandfather was Jewish, not Irish (he changed his name to Kerry
from Kohn, and also converted to Catholicism). His account of his
experiences in Vietnam is riveting. His failed first marriage left
a wound that never completely healed, but his second marriage, to
Teresa Heinz, widow of a Senate colleague, has been an anchor in
his life. He tells wonderful stories about the Kennedys and
especially about Senate colleagues Ted Kennedy and John McCain. His
story of his first real meeting with John McCain, another Vietnam
veteran, is one of the most moving stories in the book; his respect
for McCain is genuine and inspiring. Every Day Is Extra shows
readers how arduous it is to run for president and how demanding
the role of secretary of state is. Readers of this book, whatever
their political persuasion, will come away grateful that we have
public servants who are prepared to spend their lives in service to
their country. They will also come away with a new appreciation of
John Kerry, a man often portrayed as aloof and stiff, but as this
book reveals, funny, warm, and dedicated.
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