"Senator Byrd's story was uniquely American. He was born into wrenching poverty, but educated himself to become an authoritative scholar, respected leader, and unparalleled champion of our Constitution. He scaled the summit of power, but his mind never strayed from the people of his beloved West Virginia. He had the courage to stand firm in his principles, but also the courage to change over time." –President Barack Obama
Between 1917 and 2010 the nation and world changed dramatically, Senator Robert C. Byrd was privileged to be a participant in those changes. In his memoir Senator Byrd tells the story of his childhood in the southern coalfields, his entry into politics in 1947 and his moving on to the senate, where he worked hard for West Virginia. Byrd served as senator for longer than any other senator in senate history.
"I believe a big man can make a small job important." –Robert C. Byrd
Few critics of the Bush presidency bring to the argument the weight of Senator Byrd (D-W.Va.), who has served under 11 presidents. To Byrd the Constitution's checks and balances and the powers of the legislative branch, including the power of the purse and the power to declare war, have kept America a safe and functioning democracy. He argues, offering a series of instances, that the Bush administration is systematically, relentlessly and with stubborn arrogance making a mockery of these constitutional mandates through subterfuge, warmongering and intimidation of a Congress that is "cowed, timid, and deferential." This volume is a searing criticism, informed by Byrd's knowledge of history, leavened with his vast experience and written with his legendary rhetorical flourish. From: Reed Elsevier Inc. Copyright Reed Business Information
The United States Constitution was incredibly important to Byrd, who always had a copy in his pocket. He was instrumental the 2004 creation of an annual Constitution Day (September 17). You can learn more about the United States Constitution in the UXL Encyclopedia of United States History, Supreme Court Drama: Cases That Changed America or at National Archives.
The longest-serving and oldest member of Congress, and third in line to the presidency, Senator Byrd passes on the lessons he's learned to the upcoming president, in this book-length letter addressed to Mr. President or Madam President.