Entertainment » Books

Make Trouble

by Noe Kamelamela
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Mar 29, 2019
Make Trouble

We may be living in a world where the most famous person associated with Waco, Texas should be Cecile Richards. "Make Trouble," her up-to-the-past-year autobiography, is a thorough account of a woman who, at a young age, became engaged in the difficult business of making not only political statements but also putting her hands to the wheel and nurturing political organizations. Though most recently known for her twelve-year stint leading Planned Parenthood in its mission to give ordinary people the healthcare they deserve, a large part of her sharing her story is to put her own words on the record.

In the era of fake news, any organization or person (just ask Kathy Griffin) can have their own words garbled or misused against them to mobilize violent and abusive actors. Putting out this small book, which was laboriously fact-checked, is a herculean task taken on in good faith. The memoir is a simply-written explanation of why she believes people should have freedoms guaranteed in the American Constitution even despite all the work it takes to be one person in one organization centered around keeping families free of disease and giving the people in those families the right to make their own decisions.

I don't mean to insult the quality of writing by using the word "simply," but I think that the majority of intended audience are activists in high school or ordinary Americans who may have average literacy. "Make Trouble" has several stories in which lies cause extraordinary harm to the people whom Richards promised to serve, and while there are moments in which she could lean on hyperbole or grandiose metaphor - familiar tools in propaganda - the narrative adheres strictly to provable facts.

Cecile Richards' autobiography is not limited to recent political events and her work with Planned Parenthood. The reader also gets a good sense for her childhood, politics in the family, and background in union organizing. More impressive than these building blocks of character are the ever-constant episodes of support of her family and friends in phone calls, in person, in simple conversation, in deeds. Her casual acknowledgments that her family, friends, and colleagues are her support system, as well as the reason why she believes that our country can be a land of freedom and justice for all, gives me hope as an American that our communities can stand up for each other and win.

"Make Trouble: Stand Up, Speak Out, And Find The Courage To Lead"
by Cecile Richards with Lauren Peterson

$16 (paperback)

Noe Kamelamela is a reader who reads everything and a writer who writes
very little.


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