You could yawn and dismiss this book as a collection of recycled electioneering rhetoric by a woman who lost two Maine Democratic party primary campaigns, one for Congress in 1994, and another for Senate in 1996. You could, but you'd sure be missing a rollicking good read, a primer on the hot political issues of the past few years by a smart, witty woman who isn't afraid of speaking her mind. Jean Hay may have lost the primaries, but if this book is any indication, we Mainers were the real losers.
In this collection of essays and speeches, Hay, a journalist and organic farmer before running for office, breathes life into into the nearly moribund notion that candidates for office should have -- gasp! -- opinions, and should even express them in print. She says she ran for office out of love and outrage. Both are reflected in her writing. It is often idealistic, just as often angry, sometimes biting, sometimes inspiring, always heartfelt. With chapters like "Human Rights Grow on You," "Not All Carrots are Straight," "Slavery and the Minimum Wage," and "In Defense of Unwed Mothers," Proud to Be
has to be the most courageous book ever written by a Maine political candidate.
It is also entertaining, intelligent, and thought-provoking. Watch this woman. As she says, "I'm a Bleeding Heart Liberal and I Vote!" ----------- April 1997
Review by John R. Wiggins
...For those who know Hay, (the book cover)
does depict her political superhero energy level....
...Hay writes pithily...
...she is solidly within the liberal tradition and writes bracingly.
Casco Bay Weekly
Review by Al Diamon
...Very feminist. Also scary.
Her book should be required reading. She's a hell of a writer.
----- Larry Brewster of Bangor,
at a Bangor Democratic City Committee meeting, February 1997