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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Fire and Fury,
by Michael Wolff (2018)
Trump Revealed,
by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (2016)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2016)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
United,
by Cory Booker (2016)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
Becoming,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

In the Company of Men
A Woman at the Citadel

by Nancy Mace & Mary Jane Ross



(Click for Amazon book review)

Click here for 9 full quotes from Nancy Mace in the book In the Company of Men, by Nancy Mace.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

Nancy Mace was the first female graduate of The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina. This book is her story of her time at The Citadel, which we'll describe below. But we read this book with one question in mind: "Why would Rep. Mace switch from denouncing the January 6 insurrection to supporting Trumpism?" We consider Mace to be an example of many Republicans in Congress, and in this book we looked for answers to that question (we didn't find many!).

Following is what Mace said right after the insurrection, in "The State," a leading newspaper in her home state of South Carolina. This sentiment, that the insurrection hurt Trump's legacy, hurt the Republican Party, and hurt democracy, was echoed by many other Congressional Republicans:
    Republican Nancy Mace did not hesitate when asked if she still believed in President Donald Trump, the man she helped elect in 2016. "No, I don't," the South Carolina Congresswoman said in an interview with The State newspaper. "I can't condone the rhetoric from [the lead-up to the January 6th insurrection], where people died and all the violence. These were not protests. This was anarchy."

    It was a stunning departure for Mace, a freshman member of Congress whose own political rise is tied to Trump's presidency.

    As she talked about the impact Wednesday's deadly insurrection had not only on democracy, but on the Republican Party and its members, Mace's voice began to shake. "My anger not only stems from the violence last night, where four people died and people were injured, but everything (Trump) accomplished during the last four years of his presidency. That legacy has now been wiped out. It is gone, and we have to start over from scratch," Mace said, noting that Republicans will be the minority party in both congressional chambers during at least the first two years of Democrat Joe Biden's presidency.

    "We now have lost the Senate. We did that on our own accord. We did it to ourselves, and we reap what we sow. The rhetoric has got to stop," Mace continued. "That is one of the main reasons that we lost people within our party. We lost independents. We lost moderates. We lost centrist Republicans. We lost Republicans who voted for a Democrat for the first time in their life this cycle."

    --The State, "Trump demanded loyalty; SC Republican Nancy Mace won't give it to him anymore", by Caitlyin Byrd, Jan. 8, 2021

But then she rescinded it all. It's understandable that her initial reaction was harsh -- while still in shock from being personally at-risk from the insurrection. It's understandable that she wanted to soften up on Trump, in order to toe the GOP line, as part of the strategy to win back Congress in 2022, which loss she clearly blamed on Trump and Trumpism above. But this is quite a switch in her own thinking, in a period of just a few months:
    Sometime between January and my visit in March, Mace appeared to have lost her nerve; she'd stopped criticizing her party and was again sounding all the notes required by a Trump-dominated GOP. Her evolution on the issue has mirrored that of other Republicans, including Trump allies such as Kevin McCarthy and Lindsey Graham, who were sharply critical of the president after the insurrection, only to later back down. To observe Mace these past several months has been to watch in real time as a freshman Republican absorbs a few fundamental truths: Despite what Mace seems to have believed, most Republicans appear to have little appetite for nuance at the moment, let alone dissent. The base loves Trump as much as ever, and his allies are working to unseat anyone who fails to show fealty. There is no post-Trump GOP, not yet.

    You can draw a pretty straight line from that person--the Nancy Mace who survived the Citadel--to the Nancy Mace who responded to December's death threats by growing more stridently anti-Trump. Maybe she believed that her constituents would share her alarm at the president's behavior in January.

    But in trying to establish herself as a born-again Trump critic, Mace had clearly made a miscalculation: State and local party leaders complained about her in local papers. One constituent called into Rush Limbaugh's show to say she was furious at the congresswoman. At least one Republican has already promised to challenge her from the right in 2022, and Team Trump is said to be recruiting other primary contenders. Winning reelection will require first winning the Republican primary--and in South Carolina, that'll be hard to do without embracing Trump. Mace appears to have realized this.

    I visited Mace again because House Republicans had just voted to expel Representative Liz Cheney from her role as conference chair. I asked whether she'd supported Cheney. She looked as though she would rather be anywhere else, talking about anything else. "I voted to have a change in leadership that day," she told me. Constant criticism of the former president, Mace continued, was contributing to "enormous division" in the GOP. "We're very good at attacking one another and doing it in public," she said. Mace was ready for the party to turn its ire toward Democrats--and away from Trump. "I just want to be done with that," she said. "I want to move forward."

    --The Atlantic, "How a Rising Trump Critic Lost Her Nerve", by Elaine Godfrey, July 23, 2021

So what does all that mean? Initially after the insurrection, Mace joined Cheney (and many other Republicans) in condemning the insurrection, and Trump's part in it. But doing that led to a major rift in the Republican Party -- those who condemned Trump's partisan divisiveness vs. those who accepted it as the price to win elections. Since Trump is the leader of the Republican Party, Mace and most other Republicans went with Trump (while Cheney and a few other Republicans stuck with condemnation). That seems to be the situation in the lead-up to the 2022 Congressional elections -- the mainstream Republican Party are all Trump supporters, and want to "move on" from the insurrection and any investigations. Those who condemn (or even just investigate) the insurrection will have a Republican primary challenger, supported by Trump and the mainstream GOP.

However, we didn't find any of that in this book. We found lots of evidence of Mace standing up for her principles under challenging circumstances (she took an immense amount of heat for being a woman in the "company of men"). We expected that to translate into standing up to Trump, like Liz Cheney did. But Mace didn't do that -- she applied political calculus instead -- which is absent from this book.

The book itself is really a diary of Mace's time at The Citadel, mostly focusing on her first year. It's a fascinating description of the quirky traditions of a very traditional institution -- and there are many quirks indeed. Mace was part of a group of four women admitted as Cadets in her first year -- that forced numerous changes to those traditions:
  • Women's bathrooms, sleeping quarters, and uniforms all had to be arranged for the four women -- details of these arrangements occupies most of the first few chapters of the book.
  • "For the first time in the history of The Citadel, a cadet started a menstrual period. In fact, all four of us did, all within an hour of each other." (pp. 66-67)
  • "I was shaking with excitement [for] my first time in dress uniform. The famous white shirt and light gray wool trousers represented a 150-year tradition." (p. 88; changes to women's uniforms came later)
  • "As I put on my first cadet uniform, I thought back to the day I was six years old and put on my first Citadel T-shirt." (p. 21; the photo of Mace as a 6-year-old wearing that T-shirt adorns the back cover of the book).
  • "Ladies and gentlemen, your new commandant will be Brigadier General Emory Mace" (p. 180; that's Nancy Mace's father, also a graduate of The Citadel, who was appointed to the head job there during Nancy's time as a cadet).
  • "Chapter 3: Nancy the Knob" (pp. 29-36; referring to the standard "knob" haircut given to all incoming cadets); "Chapter 11: Hair of the Dog" (pp. 142-148; referring to the four women's decision to modify the haircut rules).
Notice that two full chapters are dedicated to the "crewcut issue" -- along with several other references to haircuts elsewhere in the book, mostly focusing on how Mace endured silently (she promises herself not to cry in chapter 3) and sometimes not so silently (she cries about it in chapter 11). That's the level of detail in this diary-level book -- a lot of detail of interest to historians and perhaps to other Citadel grads. But we found little insight into how Mace handled the events of 2021, so we inferred her conclusions instead.

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, August 2021

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Civil Rights
    Diversity Squad: women,Jews,blacks know about "the only one".
    Female Citadel classmates alleged verbal and physical abuse.
Drugs
    Took prescription medication for depression and ADD.
Education
    Endured college coursework, plus ROTC, with ADD.
Families & Children
    Sexism at The Citadel from cadets' wives and mothers.
Homeland Security
    I came to The Citadel to fulfill traditions,not destroy them.
    13 items in "Knob Knowledge" code of conduct.
Principles & Values
    I am a general's daughter; I know a battle when I see one.
    Model for new military haircut, "Nancy the Knob".


    Click for quotations from other sources by:
  • Nancy Mace

The above quotations are from In the Company of Men
A Woman at the Citadel

by Nancy Mace & Mary Jane Ross.

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