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Murtha Offers Lessons Learned on Security

The first Vietnam combat veteran elected to Congress — Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) — puts his national security expertise to work in a new book slated for release this April.

Published by Penn State Press, “From Vietnam to 9/11” is Murtha’s take on the lessons learned during his more than three decades of involvement with the formation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy — beginning with his service in Vietnam and continuing today from his perch as ranking member on the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense.

In addition to providing an overview of major foreign policy developments and crises, the 230-page book lays out Murtha’s criteria for deploying U.S. troops, presents his vision for future humanitarian efforts by U.S. forces, and highlights the importance of maintaining a robust military.

Murtha retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1990.

— Bree Hocking

Norton Book Reveals the Fire in Her Soul

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) doesn’t often find herself with free time — much less enough time to author a book.

So for now, the lawmaker concedes, she’ll have to let someone else do it.

The fourth-generation Washingtonian is the subject of the recently published “Fire in My Soul,” written by syndicated columnist Joan Steinau Lester.

Lester, a fellow Antioch College alumna of Norton’s, tracks the life of the District’s Delegate, following her from the segregated Washington of her youth to her career in Congress, as well as reviewing the history of her family.

“When your people came here, when your great-grandfather came here as a runaway slave and you become the Congresswoman of the District of Columbia and you’ve had the happenstance experience to live through the great movement of your time, well, there are things I have to say,” Norton said in a recent interview.

In addition to Norton, Lester interviewed nearly 100 of the Congresswoman’s colleagues, family and friends.

“What I’d like people to understand about the book is the long history of unequal citizenship that my family has experienced, and that the city has experienced, for 226 years,” Norton said. “My great-grandfather walked off a plantation in Virginia, knowing he’d find greater freedom here. …

“But I don’t think he’d have expected that we’d enter the 21st century — improved over that time to be sure — but with fewer rights than any other American in every other district.”

In the future, Norton plans to publish her own tome.

“I will write about it in my own words, sometime in the future and I’ll be writing about a whole lot more than my life, I’ll be writing about my city and the city I’ve come to represent.”

— Jennifer Yachnin

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