Item description for Small Town Showdown by Eileen Umbehr...
Overview Keen Umbehr, a trash hauler in rural Kansas, was an "affliction" to the county commissioners in Wabaunsee County. He got involved in local politics by attending meetings and writing a weekly newspaper column questioning how taxpayer money was being spent. His wife presents his inspiring story. (Social Issues)
Publishers Description Keen Umbehr, a trash hauler in rural Kansas, was an "affliction" to the county commissioners in Wabaunsee County. He did what most of us only talk about: He got involved in local politics by attending meetings and writing a weekly newspaper column questioning how taxpayer money was being spent and insisting on accountability from elected officials. Apparently viewing participatory democracy as better in theory than in practice, however, the commissioners demanded that the editor of the local paper censor Umbehr's articles or face withdrawal of all county business. When that failed, they took a more direct approach and terminated Umbehr's contract to haul solid waste for the county. The message to other citizens could hardly have been more explicit - speak out against government abuses at your economic peril. Robert A. Van Kirk "Costly Criticism" The Washington Post July 24, 1996 This is fascinating reading A page turner Barbara Lerma, Adjunct Instructor in the Humanities Eileen Umbehr was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1958, and grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin, before moving overseas to Singapore where she would meet her high school sweetheart and future husband, Keen A. Umbehr. Keen and Eileen were married in 1978 and moved to Alma, Kansas, the following March. Together they raised four sons and have since added two daughters-in-law, two grandsons, two granddaughters and one more on the way. Eileen has been a homemaker and bookkeeper for the family businesses for twenty-nine years. For the past four years, Eileen has written a weekly newspaper column titled "Reflections," for The Prairie Post in White City, Kansas. Small Town Showdown is her first book.
Awards and Recognitions Small Town Showdown by Eileen Umbehr has received the following awards and recognitions -
Axiom Business Book Awards - 2008 Special Recognition - Biography/Memoir category
Ferguson Kansas History Book Award - 2009 Winner - History category
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Reviews - What do customers think about Small Town Showdown?
Excellent Book We Couldn't Put Down Jan 19, 2008
(Please Note: The following review was sent to the author via email and has been reprinted with Linda Jernigan's permission.)
Up until last night, I must confess that I had only read parts of Small Town Showdown because I thought it might be kind of tedious to read.
Well, my friend, I was up until 1:30 a.m. and was totally absorbed in the story and details that I thought I knew very well. I did not - and I lived here! I finally had to go to bed at Chapter 6, although I could have stayed up all night!
I don't think I can put into words how perfectly you have told your story and done it in a masterful way with the legal documents, along with some personal insights. Eileen, it is just SUPERB!!! Your book pulls the reader into the real sense of the corruption, legal details and frustration you lived through. And even though it is not a book containing your personal journals, I can clearly understand the turmoil, alienation and small town division that I know you, Keen and your family endured.
I just wanted you to know that what you went through made a difference - not only then, but for many, many years to come. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for enduring the fight for all of us!
Sincerely, Linda Jernigan Maple Hill, Kansas
(Please Note: The following review was sent to the author via email and has been posted with Mr. Buchman's permission.)
One wouldn't believe how a work such as this could be so magnetizing. Once started, it was impossible for us to put down. We read 120 pages without intermission.
Can't comprehend how Umbehr kept track of all the pieces, which were incorporated into the book. That's remarkable in itself. The writing to tie the diverse sections together was especially appreciated. It was a bit difficult for our small brain to follow a few times, going from one part to another, but we soon got back into the meat.
Frank J. Buchman Alta Vista, KS
A True Look At Small Town America *** Nov 17, 2007
A wonderfully Put Together Book....A Real Glimpse of What Small Town America is Really Like!! Well written, and well Documented...Most people would not believe county government to be as portrayed....but it so very, very true. At times it is very hard reading...but that is only because you are reading the actual court records. Everyone should read this book so that they may glimpse politics and the "good ole boy" mentality at its very worst. EXCELLENT!!