Item description for Handmade Soap: Recipes For Crafting Soap At Home ( Country Living) by Mike Hulbert & Joseph A. Califano Jr....
Joe Califano grew up in a tight-knit working class family in Depression-era Brooklyn. His parents instilled in their son a work ethic, sense of self, and devotion to Church that stayed with him as he rose through the ranks of America's ruling class. From Jesuit undergraduate schools to Harvard Law, influential law firms, Robert McNamara's Pentagon, Lyndon Johnson's White House, and Jimmy Carter's Cabinet, Califano was hard charging, effective, and committed to his causes---whether that meant reforming the military, working for equal rights for all, his struggle to be a committed Catholic in America, or finally his passion to combat addictions that ruin so many American lives.
The book is called Inside, and that's where it takes us---inside his public and private life---as Califano worked in the power centers of three Democratic administrations. He shows us how hardball is often necessary to make government serve its people. Califano remained "inside" even out of government, representing the Washington Post and Democratic Party during Watergate.
Inside is history, memoir, and a profoundly revealing personal drama of a powerful figure involved in many defining events of the last half century. It is a tale of how ambition, tenacity and courage, guided by deeply felt ethics, can move the world, from the inside.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Handmade Soap: Recipes For Crafting Soap At Home ( Country Living)?
Close but not quite there yet. Sep 8, 2004
I heard Mr. Califano on the radio plugging his book and eagerly sought it out. To me, a disappointment. The merits of his accomplishment - and they are many - aside, the book struck me as just a bit too self serving. It may be my frame of reference - I tend to be more middle of the road, he a bit more liberal. And as in the commercial, "Where's the beef" I'm not certain that all the programs he initiated and helped found have stood the test of time. The Great Society, for example, is far from achieving the wonderfully lofty goals it proclaimed. But perhaps I quibble.
Of very great concern to me, however is his profession of faith and how he sensed that it "guided" him so often in his career and personal life. His explanation of his annulment in the Catholic church and how it could not be considered a "Catholic divorce" left me more than a little puzzled. Words have a way of shaping reality and if nothing else, Mr. Califano is a master at that.
His is, I believe, very good view from a participant in history - the Nixon section was to my way of thinking fair and balance. But overall, the book to me was a let down.
A Massive, Rewarding Memoir Aug 1, 2004
Obviously, 490 pages is not enough to cover a life of more than 70 years encyclopedically, but Joesph Califano's autobiography seems almost that thorough by the time the reader is finished. The memoir reads with an energy that carries the reader from Califano's upbringing, his Roman Catholic elementary and secondary education under the rubrics of the Baltimore Catechism, Holy Cross college and Harvard Law School, through private law practices, the administrations of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter, two marriages, cancer treatments, and the establishment of the National Center on Addition and Substance Abuse. That all of this fits into one volume, along with some significant reflection, is impressive. That it all is the true story of one person's life, is inspiring.
As a progressive protestant, I do wish Califano had engaged in more critical reflection on his Roman Catholic faith, seeing his questions as seeds for growth in understanding. Perhaps unfortunately, he tends to view his questions as doubts overcome, with his traditional faith reinforced. But his traditional faith has made many lives better in this country so the disappointment is largely outweighed by admiration. As a spiritual autobiography, using the framework of James Fowler's seminal Stages of Faith, Califano might very well stand in stage 3 where many great leaders and servants have stood.
This book is a substantive undertaking for the reader, but they will most certainly feel rewarded at the completion of this memoir of a great American.
Motivating and Inspiring! Jul 12, 2004
I have immensely enjoyed reading Mr. Califano's memoir. He is quite candid in his assessments, even when his candor doesn't reflect well on him or his decisions taken while in public service. (A lot more candor from today's public officials would be most welcome.) Most Americans will not have a clue about the almost Zelig-like presence of Mr. Califano when important policy decisions were being formulated beginning with the Johnson administration and continuing through the Carter years. This book should be recommended reading for all those studying Public Administration and for any person interested in understanding the ways of the Federal government. Bravo!
Keep Your Faith to Guide You Jul 11, 2004
Inside is the most interesting memoir that I have read in many years. I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in how to do the right thing while under tremendous pressure to do the opposite to study this book. I also recommend giving this book as a gift to young people who want to pursue professional and public lives, as a study from which they can learn much. If you are a Democrat, you will be especially interested in the inner workings of how many critical events occurred. If you are not a Democrat, you will be fascinated by the misdeeds of some Democrats while they were in office. If you are skeptical of government power, you will find lots of examples of unwarranted abuse. If you like juicy stories that you haven't heard before, you will find this book full of them.
Most people today have no idea who Joe Califano is of why he is important to American history. But if you tell people that he was legal counsel to the Army under Cyrus Vance and Robert McNamara, personal assistant to McNamara while he was Secretary of Defense, ran President Johnson's campaign to develop the social changes incorporated in the Great Society (including the elimination of government-sponsored racial discrimination), and was Secretary of HEW for President Carter (where he took ending discrimination much further, added important health reforms such as taking on smoking and began reforming the way HEW was administered), it's impressive. But there's more. He was also counsel to the Washington Post during the Watergate investigation and ended up being involved in both President Nixon's resignation and that of Vice President Agnew. His private clients have included many of the most important companies in the country. His law partner was Edward Bennett Williams, perhaps the most famous litigator of his generation.
But that's all beside the point, to me. Mr. Califano is of most significance for his candor in explaining his religious faith and how he has tried to follow it while walking the corridors of power and pursuing a challenging private life. It hasn't been easy, and he hasn't always done what he later felt to be the right thing. But he tells you where he thinks he did right . . . and where he went wrong. Other legendary insiders (like Justice Fortas and Clark Clifford) ended up their careers with a cloud over them. Mr. Califano seems to have avoided that path by increasingly taking up the challenges of public service in a disinterested, pro bono way. His latest focus is on a private foundation to help locate and eliminate the causes of addiction. I thought that the lessons he shared are important and timeless ones for us all.
Although the book is long, the prose is spare. He only provides enough information so you get the main point. He's lived through enough important events to fill 10 lives . . . and he seems to keep it all in perspective.
As a person who also graduated from Harvard Law School and found corporate law in a law firm to be less than thrilling, I appreciated his candor about the appeal of taking on challenges where you can make a difference in the world.
As President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." Clearly, Mr. Califano has met that standard.
Apt Title Jun 20, 2004
What is it to be a Washington insider? Consider this quote ': "? no legal fee can be too high for a large corporation with billions at stake on a phrase in the law ?" Meet Joe Califano: simultaneously General Counsel to the Democratic National Convention and Outside Counsel to the Washington Post during Watergate; and the reason you can't smoke in public.
Joe Califano's career as a Washington insider began as a member of the Kennedy administration and continues to this day as that most celebrated but shadowy of creatures, the Washington insider. His book is a very personal account, easily read, of a man who has exercised power and enjoyed himself doing it. His is a quintessentially American not-quite-rags to riches story, the result of hard work and dedication. A heroic figure to many (and quite pleased with himself), Joe Califano is also a card carrying member of the society of arch devils who comprised Liberal America in its pre-Reagan heyday.
Raised by a devout family, in a devout milieu, Califano attributes much of his social consciousness to his strict Catholic upbringing; Catholicism takes up a good part of the beginning of the book and a very large part of all of Califano's life; repeatedly woven into the story are the strength his faith gave him and the wrenching conflicts it forced him to face.
Switching from the reflexively anti-communistic Republicanism of his family, and while working for Republican Tom Dewey's law firm, Joe's policy instincts were first evident in his early support for Jack Kennedy. Supporting JFK in debates at New York City's Reform Democratic Clubs, he recalls "In all my debates, I was never able to capture a single vote for Kennedy". Which led directly to his becoming one of McNamara's "whiz kids" in the new administration, the springboard for all that followed.
He describes a level of intensity and excitement in his first days, in the depths of the Cold War, akin to what was ascribed to the early members of the New Deal administration: idealism, energy, commitment and controversy. A sample of the issues he faced:
- Reforming the military administration at the Pentagon - Army protection of civil rights and enforcement of desegregation as Army Chief Cyrus Vance's special assistant - Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, Fidel Assassination plots - Kennedy burial duties - Lawyer before an international tribunal on riots in Panama Canal Zone
At first reluctant to work for Lyndon Johnson after Kennedy's assassination, he came to admire the man's programs and the man himself; because of his intelligence, because of his abilities as a politician, and because Califano passionately believed in The Great Society programs which he was eventually to run as Johnson's domestic policy advisor. If a mentor is someone whose influence is evident throughout later life, Johnson was Califano's mentor. Califano's role working with Johnson was central to the making of who Califano later became; all else was prologue or epilogue.
Hate it or love it, Califano was the at the center of the greatest domestic legislative storm of our generation. He loved it: "? to me the public legacy of those years was nothing short of a revolution that saved the Nation ?"
Following the 1968 Democratic Convention fiasco (the Chicago 7, Abbey Hoffman, et al) and Nixon's election, all the strains imposed by Lyndon Johnson's divisive social activism and the unpopular war in Vietnam threatened to rip the Democratic Party apart despite its continuing dominance of Congress.
The 1972 Democratic Presidential nominating convention was a huge fight with McGovern's anti-war politics vs. Richard Daley's machine politics. These days, the convention is just a party but then it actually chose the candidate and a terrible battle ensued. Just as the Democratic Party seemed to be slipping into its grave, Califano filed a little-noticed lawsuit resulting from a little-noticed break-in at the DNC headquarters which would ultimately result in stoking the fires further but which probably saved the party from destruction, giving it a role as loyally opposed to governmental abuse.
When Jimmy Carter became president, he named Califano to head the sprawling Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) where many of LBJ's Great Society programs were located. It had gotten a well-deserved reputation for waste and incompetence and Califano saw it as an opportunity to strike another blow for "his" programs. Califano is openly contemptuous of Carter's na?vet? and felt that success was impossible as a result. Obsessed with detail and not open to compromise, Carter contrasted very unfavorably with LBJ's great skill as a domestic politician.
Some of the issues facing HEW Secretary Califano:
- Handicapped access - Title IX collegiate women's sports - Federally-funded abortions - Sterilization - Recombinant DNA - Fetal Research - Hospice
Califano's greatest contribution and his ultimate demise was his anti-smoking campaign. Commonplace today, no-smoking areas were both unusual and highly controversial then.
Califano's differences with Carter and his inner circle led to Califano's resignation in 1979. Carter was looking forward to the 1980 election and he desperately needed the tobacco interests in the South which Califano had alienated.
Califano has been out of the limelight for decades and he describes his displeasure with this state of affairs. He's been making money, doing and repaying favors, getting remarried to a rich socialite; all of which he describes with a style that makes you feel you know him. His restlessness led him finally to retire from the practice of law and devote all of his energies to founding and running the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. He describes his various encounters with the evils of addition, and he has decided to devote his considerable energy and resources to fighting it.
Apparently, the Secretary of Health, etc. neglected ever to get a colonoscopy and in 1993 he had bloody stool and now he has a considerably less lengthy colon. Almost immediately thereafter, he also discovered rather advanced prostate cancer. Ten years later, he seems still to be going strong and whatever difficulties he now faces because of his physical problems, they have not impaired his ability to write an interesting book about his exceptional life.