Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future - Pete Buttigieg

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future

By Pete Buttigieg

  • Release Date: 2019-02-12
  • Genre: Political Science
Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future book review score

4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 247 Ratings)

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future Pete Buttigieg Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

"The best American political autobiography since Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father." —Charles Kaiser, The Guardian

A mayor’s inspirational story of a Midwest city that has become nothing less than a blueprint for the future of American renewal.

Once described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has now emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politicians. With soaring prose that celebrates a resurgent American Midwest, Shortest Way Home narrates the heroic transformation of a “dying city” (Newsweek) into nothing less than a shining model of urban reinvention.

Interweaving two narratives—that of a young man coming of age and a town regaining its economic vitality—Buttigieg recounts growing up in a Rust Belt city, amid decayed factory buildings and the steady soundtrack of rumbling freight trains passing through on their long journey to Chicagoland. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s legacy, Buttigieg first left northern Indiana for red-bricked Harvard and then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, before joining McKinsey, where he trained as a consultant—becoming, of all things, an expert in grocery pricing. Then, Buttigieg defied the expectations that came with his pedigree, choosing to return home to Indiana and responding to the ultimate challenge of how to revive a once-great industrial city and help steer its future in the twenty-first century.

Elected at twenty-nine as the nation’s youngest mayor, Pete Buttigieg immediately recognized that “great cities, and even great nations, are built through attention to the everyday.” As Shortest Way Home recalls, the challenges were daunting—whether confronting gun violence, renaming a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., or attracting tech companies to a city that had appealed more to junk bond scavengers than serious investors. None of this is underscored more than Buttigieg’s audacious campaign to reclaim 1,000 houses, many of them abandoned, in 1,000 days and then, even as a sitting mayor, deploying to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy officer. Yet the most personal challenge still awaited Buttigieg, who came out in a South Bend Tribune editorial, just before being reelected with 78 percent of the vote, and then finding Chasten Glezman, a middle-school teacher, who would become his partner for life.

While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future book review; book recommendations; Political Science books;.

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User reviews about this book

  • The Shortest Way Home

    By Retired RVer
    This book really is a great introduction to Pete. His writing flows, is insightful, and thought provoking. I have recommended it to a number of people.
  • Gracias por todo Mayor Pete.

    By Renecito1
    Mi esposo y yo le damos nuestro voto. Pete Buttigieg habla magnificamente. Tiene experiencia y buenos modales, habla con mucha cultura y puede comunicarse con las personas de una manera real y respetuosa. Su mensaje es directo sin decir mentiras. Mayor Pete es una persona decente.
  • No

    By daddysacowboy
    This guy should never even be allowed to even look at a picture of the White House, can’t believe he’s even a mayor. Americans are really uneducated if they think this guy even deserves a chance to run for president
  • A modern Renaissance genius with a heart of a servent

    By KiltBear
    Poignant and powerful. Besides everything you might be learning about Mayor Pete on the net and news, this guy can really tell a story. He’s a gift to the American people and the world.
  • Promising Future

    By SDWill
    If you are in the mood for an intimate, authentic, emotionally moving and inspirational story, then I suggest you make a cup of your favorite hot beverage, turn off the phones and distractions in your present life, then curl up in your comfortable place and permit yourself to read “Shortest Way Home”. It has honestly been decades since I’ve encountered such a genuine biographical voice with vision and clarity. I suspect that if and when he decides to leave public office, Mayor Pete will have a promising future as an author for as long as he chooses.
  • Beautiful soul.

    By ReFreak94
    We need this man as a leader.
  • Shortest Way Home

    By Keith1950
    I love the way Mayor Pete appeals to our finest selves. Smart policy from a very thoughtful man.
  • Shortest way home

    By tinguaro1221
    Well written story about the life of a smart young man.

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