In a new book called A Reason to Believe Governor Deval Patrick discusses many interesting glimpses into political life. In the book, he chronicles his rags-to-riches story with his rise from poverty on the Chicago South Side to the upper echelons of the American political system.
Idealism On Paper
In an interview with The Associated Press, Patrick said, “I’m a very hopeful person. I’m an unrepentant idealist. I’m just passing on some of those lessons that have been transcendent to me.”Patrick’s book is a very interesting read for anyone who has risen up from underprivileged surroundings. Most of the lessons in the book chronicle how Patrick juggled life in polar opposite worlds – leaving his crowded, urban upbringing for the privileged life at Milton Academy at the age of 14 when he received a scholarship.
Milton Academy and Beyond
Eventually graduating from Harvard and Harvard Law School, Patrick explains how he felt, at first, that he was living on two different planets. In the book, he rejects the idea, however, that he would never have succeeded without Milton. As he said, “Some people will believe that, but for Milton, I would be peddling drugs or gangbanging on the South Side of Chicago. I reject that. Even back home, others had high expectations for me.”The book chronicles the encounters that he’s had with President Obama along the way, his marital issues, and his struggles with race.
As the first black governor of Massachusetts, Patrick admits that he’s had many struggles with race. As he wrote, “The curse of being black is always having to wonder whether the things that go wrong in your life are account of your race.”He does not, however, want a racial struggle to be the central theme of his book – or his life. After his 2006 election he was portrayed as the new face of post-Civil Rights era black political leadership and he said that he didn’t want to be placed into such a confining box.He explained that, “Race is a part of who I am so it is part of my story, but it has not consumed me. It has not been the sole defining characteristic of my life. I have been fortunate to have so many positive experiences with so many kinds of people from around the world that one of the takeaways for me is how much we have in common.”