Political Woman is the first biography of Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan’s UN ambassador and the most forceful presence in the administration in shaping the Reagan Doctrine and fighting the Cold War to a victorious conclusion. Based on countless interviews and unique access to her private papers, Political Woman creates a portrait of an ambitious woman from the epicenter of Middle America determined to break through the glass ceilings of her time and place.
A pioneering feminist, academic, and an important Democratic Party activist, Kirkpatrick would be hated for leading a group of Democratic liberals into the Reagan administration after what she saw as the trashing of the Roosevelt coalition and capitulation to Soviet advances. As Reagan’s UN representative, Kirkpatrick sharpened the spearpoint of a rearmed America ready to join the final battle of the Cold War, staging dramatic clashes over policy toward the Soviets, the Cubans, and the Contras in the process.
Political Woman tells this parallel story—the flight of centrist liberals out of the Democratic Party and the complex chess match of the end game of the Cold War—through the intimate story of a woman who was at the center of these dramas. It also shows the price she paid for her success in a private life filled with sorrow and loss as profound as her epic achievements.