Altar Boys

Raising Hell for Justice; Daschle vs. Thune
David R. Obey; Jon K. Lauck

Raising Hell for Justice

The Washington Battles of a Heartland Progressive

David R. Obey

University of Wisconsin Press, $35, 496 pp.

Daschle vs. Thune

Anatomy of a High-Plains Senate Race

Jon K. Lauck

University of Oklahoma Press, $24.95, 326 pp.

In seventh grade, the year he decided to be a congressman, young David Obey punched a nun-in the jaw, no less-after she slapped him for being inattentive in class. In his autobiography, Raising Hell for Justice, longtime Congressman Obey (D-Wis.) outlines the character of a man who-his name not withstanding-has spent his life aiming righteous indignation at established authority. By contrast, the former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle, another liberal Catholic Democrat, consistently promoted his respect for tradition and church leadership. In 1978, he distributed a letter from his Catholic-school nuns, vouching for his opposition to abortion; and TV ads for his 2004 reelection campaign highlighted the senator’s youthful service as an altar boy. In Daschle vs. Thune, however, Jon Lauck...

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About the Author

Thomas Carty teaches history at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.