A review of


Molly BallHenry Holt • 2020

A Remarkable Woman’s Ascent  

by David Meyer

Time magazine national political correspondent Molly Ball applies her expertise and insight to Nancy Pelosi’s rise to Speaker of the House of Representatives through sweeping political change, Obamacare, Fox News, the Tea Party and Donald Trump.

The story ain’t always pretty. Yet the picture Molly Ball paints in her intimate book is that of a woman remaining in charge with fascinating style and grace. Ball’s nuanced portrait of Nancy Pelosi offers a master class in grit and dealmaking. O Magazine said of this bestseller, “Molly Ball…captures all the facets of Madam Speaker: steely combatant, peerless number cruncher, master of details.”

Ball’s book spends quite some time detailing Pelosi’s pre-political life: Her father, US Representative Thomas D’Alesandro, was also mayor of Baltimore. Her mother, Annunciata, was a campaign veteran and political operative. Nancy married Paul Pelosi in 1963 and moved to his home town, San Francisco, where they had five children in six years.

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