Book Review: United by Cory Booker

“Senator Booker’s first book, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good, details the people who inspired him to seek public office, the moments that influenced his civic vision once he was elected and the issues that drive his political agenda, such as social, economic and environmental justice.”

Besides providing extensive insight into his life experiences growing up as well as his early political experiences Booker does an excellent job of reminding the reader how nuanced and challenging it is to try to get anything done in government. Booker humbly highlights all of the people who have surrounded him through his life. Parents, wise community members, pastors, friends, and political team members have all played a role is shaping Booker’s beliefs and convictions. More than that, he highlights how he’s learned from his adversaries.

Even with disappointments fresh in his memory Booker can’t help but write optimistically. He has hope for our country even with its flaws. This is not naive optimism, Booker has watched children die, politicians bend the law for personal gain and death take loved ones. But he is resilient and his words remind me that we, as a country, are too.

Booker is passionate about the issues he’s encountered personally but it’s impossible to miss the influence his relationship with Jesus has on his convictions as well. This is a man who understands we must lead by example first and he strives to do so.