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Up the Capitol Steps is a personal and political memoir by
Oregon’s first (and only) woman governor, one of only thirty-four women
who have served as state chief executives in the history of the United
States. Barbara Roberts offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a woman’s
life in politics and aims to “demystify” leadership by telling the story
of her own unlikely rise to power.
The mother of an autistic
child before the advent of special education, Roberts began her life in
public service as an advocate for the rights of children with
disabilities. She documents her expanding political career from school
board member to legislator to Secretary of State and finally, Governor.
In this gripping and poignant memoir, hotly contested elections and
tough policy decisions are interspersed with intimate details of
personal ups and downs. Throughout, Roberts reveals the warmth and
humor that show the “real” person behind the politician.
Only the third published autobiography by an American woman head
of state, Up the Capitol Steps is “a very significant contribution to
Oregon history, the history of women in politics, and especially the
history of women governors,” according to series editor Melody Rose. The
book captures a period of our nation’s political history and a view of
women’s expanding role in government that brings new understanding to
the term, “social revolution.”