Featuring a new introduction and a “Back Home” afterword, Shortest Way Home is Pete Buttigieg’s inspirational story that challenges our perception of the typical American politician.
The meteoric rise of the mayor of a small Midwest city, who defied every pundit’s odds with his electrifying run for the presidency, created one of the most surprising candidacies in recent American history. The fact that his New York Times best-selling memoir, Shortest Way Home, didn’t read like your typical campaign book only added to “Mayor Pete’s” transcendent appeal. Readers everywhere, old and young, came to appreciate the “stirring, honest, and often beautiful” (Jill Lepore, New Yorker) personal stories and gripping mayoral tales, which provided, in lyrical prose, the political and philosophical foundations of his historic campaign.
Now featuring a new introduction and a “Back Home” afterword, in which Buttigieg movingly returns with the reader to his roots in his hometown city of South Bend, Indiana, as well as a transcript of the eulogy for his father, Joseph Buttigieg, Shortest Way Home, already considered a classic of the political memoir form, provides us with a beacon of hope at a time of social despair and political crisis.
Buttigieg, mayor and native of South Bend, Ind., manifests a decent, positive, and reflective presence in this upbeat and readable memoir, which follows a career path that recently landed him on the short list for chair of the Democratic National Committee at the age of 36. In seven sections, the narrative retraces his life so far: after Catholic school, Buttigieg attended Harvard, where the Institute of Politics afforded him the chance to observe some leaders and public servants up close, and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. These academic credentials led to a job with McKinsey & Company after a stint campaigning for John Kerry in 2004, during which he cultivated a taste for public office and enlisted in the Navy Reserves. Three years into his first mayoral term, he was called up for a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan in 2013, which spurred new insights on being of service and on foreign relations. After his service, he came out to his parents and then the city (via a newspaper editorial) and met and married his husband, Chasten, about whose family he writes warmly. In the final section, he discusses how "obvious" it seems to him that "economic fairness and racial inclusion could resonate very well in the industrial Midwest." Buttigieg's memoir is an appealing introduction of its author to a larger potential constituency.
Great book by an wonderful leader
Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, is my favorite book by any political figure. Pete provides wonderful insight on every issue. In the book, he does an excellent job telling readers what it was like growing up in South Bend, and reflecting on his tenure as mayor, his deployment, and his love for his husband. I highly recommend Shortest Way Home; it's very well-written and refreshing.
Mayor Pete is such a smart, compassionate, and dignified man, and he deserves respect. I hope that if and when he runs for President again, more and more people would listen to him. It's really disheartening to see the amount of prejudice against him. Unlike Donald Trump, he has every right to occupy the White House!
If you are in the mood for an intimate, authentic, emotionally moving and inspirational story, then I suggest you make a cup of your favorite hot beverage, turn off the phones and distractions in your present life, then curl up in your comfortable place and permit yourself to read “Shortest Way Home”. It has honestly been decades since I’ve encountered such a genuine biographical voice with vision and clarity. I suspect that if and when he decides to leave public office, Mayor Pete will have a promising future as an author for as long as he chooses.
There is none like Pete
Compelling to the very last page; I never knew politics could be so interesting!