Pence: The Path to Power

Pence: The Path to Power

Pence: The Path to Power

Pence: The Path to Power

Synopsis

What does it take to become the second-in-command of one of the most powerful countries in the world? Mike Pence's rise to the vice presidency of the United States wasn't always easy. To some, he is the personification of American conservative values, but to others, his ideals are the epitome of prejudice and bigotry.

In Pence: The Path to Power, journalist Andrea Neal showcases how the vice president arrived at this position of influence. Neal interviews friends, family, staff, former teachers, and politicians on both sides of the aisle to reveal a multifaceted view of the self-described Christian, Conservative, and Republican-in that order-from his beginnings in a large Irish Catholic family in Columbus, Indiana, through the scandals of his first election, to his time beside Donald Trump. This candid look at Mike Pence's life exposes his unexpected path to power and the individuals who influenced him along the way.

Excerpt

This book began during a long-anticipated drive from Indianapolis to Chicago to see the hit musical Hamilton. I was on spring break from St. Richard’s Episcopal School, where I have the privilege of teaching sixth graders the rules of English grammar and eighth graders the founding ideals of our republic. I answered my cell phone somewhere north of Lafayette and was greeted by Ashley Runyon, an editor at Indiana University Press. “Would you be interested in writing a famous Hoosier’s biography?” she asked. Yes, I said, imagining the possibilities: Civil War governor Oliver P. Morton; Virginia Jenckes, the state’s first female member of Congress; Miami chief Little Turtle, known for inflicting one of the worst defeats in us military history; or songwriter Hoagy Carmichael of “Stardust” fame. I had gotten to know all four of these intriguing figures during my research for the book Road Trip: a Pocket History of Indiana published for the state’s bicentennial in 2016.

As it turned out, Runyon had a more contemporary figure in mind: the newly elected vice president of the United States, Michael R. Pence. Her keen editor’s eye recognized the historic import of a sixth Hoosier vice president but also the relevance of his Indiana roots and upbringing. This would be an altogether different challenge. How does one . . .

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