"Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible" by Douglas Rooks. Rooks will speak at the Jesup Memorial Library on Aug. 12. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Rooks to talk about his Mitchell biography

BAR HARBOR — Veteran journalist Douglas Rooks will be at the Jesup Memorial Library on Friday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. for an author talk and to sign copies of “Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible.”

The book follows George Mitchell’s path from his humble beginnings in Waterville to his ascent to the U.S. Senate to the present day.

Rooks chronicles Mitchell’s time at Bowdoin, working for U.S. Sen. Ed Muskie and his political comeback, being named to the U.S. Senate by Governor Joe Brennan in 1980 after his loss as the Democratic nominee for governor in 1974. Following his election to a full term in 1982, perhaps the greatest comeback in Maine political history, Mitchell pulled off another upset, besting two far more senior senators to become Senate majority leader in 1988. Serving with Republican President George H.W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton, Mitchell became the most effective majority leader since Lyndon Johnson, enacting such major legislation as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, Americans with Disabilities Act, long-term transportation bills, and, to date, the last bipartisan five-year budget and tax agreement.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe said the book is “a fascinating and comprehensive look at the life of a Maine icon and a giant on the national and international stage. What shines through is the example of an individual who not only personifies the American dream, but the inestimable power of intellect intertwined with integrity.” Michael Hastings, a Bar Harbor resident and director of research and sponsored programs at the University of Maine, who will introduce Rooks at this talk, said, “Political junkies are devouring Doug Rooks’ book on George Mitchell’s journey from Waterville to Washington, Northern Ireland, the Middle East and beyond. But there are many stories for the rest of us as well, drawn from recent interviews with family members, adversaries, staff and colleagues. Doug Rooks expertly weaves several oft-told tales (and cow jokes) with new and insightful information. He reminds us why we Mainers are so proud that Mitchell, the international leader, is from, and of, Maine.”

Rooks is a journalist who worked at weekly and daily newspapers for 25 years. Now a freelance editor, writer and author, he covers Maine state government, specializing in environmental issues, public education, municipal affairs, business and tax policy. His writing has earned awards from the National Newspaper Association and New England Press Association, and he has been named best opinion columnist three times by the Maine Press Association.

Books will be on sale at the Jesup that night, with a percentage of sales donated to the library. Sherman’s is a co-sponsor of this event.

Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].


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