Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review: The last Illinois statesman

Just when it is fashionable to bemoan the loss of bipartisanship in politics, along comes a book that waxes nostalgic for the days when legislators threw punches at each other. Former Illinois Senate President Philip J. Rock’s memoir, "Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello", points to a big difference between now and then: once the punches – both verbal and physical – were thrown, combatants could retire to Rock’s Springfield backyard for beer and barbeque.

Rock teamed with Ed Wojcicki, associate chancellor for constituent relations at University of Illinois Springfield, to pen Rock’s remembrances of public life. Rock provides plenty of detail about his 22 years in the Senate, his rise in the Cook County and Illinois Democratic Party organizations and his public service philosophy. What he doesn’t divulge are many personal particulars about his family life or his veering from the priesthood path to politics. Providing those may have given readers an understanding of why and how Rock became what some call one of the state’s last statesmen.

The review was featured in an March 22, 2012, edition of the Illinois Times.

Read the review online