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Plenty Ladylike

A Memoir

The senator from Missouri shares her “straightforward, plainspoken, and at once deeply personal and thoroughly political” (Publishers Weekly) story of embracing her ambition, surviving sexism, making a family, losing a husband, outsmarting her enemies—and finding joy along the way.

Claire McCaskill grew up in a political family, but not at a time that welcomed women with big plans. She earned a law degree and paid her way through school by working as a waitress. By 1982 Claire had set her sights on the Missouri House of Representatives. That door was slammed in her face, but Claire always kept pushing—first as a prosecutor of arsonists and rapists and then all the way to the door of a cabal of Missouri politicians, who had secret meetings to block her legislation.

In this candid, lively, and forthright memoir, Senator McCaskill describes her uphill battle to become who she is today, from her failed first marriage to a Kansas City car dealer—the father of her three children—to her current marriage to a Missouri businessman whom she describes as “a life partner.” She depicts her ups and downs with the Clintons, her long-shot reelection as senator after secretly helping to nominate a right-wing extremist as her opponent, and the fun of joining the growing bipartisan sisterhood in the Senate.

Unconventional, unsparing in its honesty, full of sharp humor and practical wisdom, and rousing in its defense of female ambition, “Plenty Ladylike is a powerful, unapologetic primer on the successful exercise of real power and what it takes to get it, keep it, and use it. This is a brilliant memoir that nearly explodes with encouragement for women on how to achieve their dreams” (Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of Lean In).

In 2006 Claire McCaskill was the first woman from Missouri elected as a United States senator and continues to serve in that position today. She has a BA and a JD from the University of Missouri and worked for the Jackson County prosecutor’s office before she was elected to her first state legislature position in the Missouri House in 1982. She lives in St. Louis with her husband and blended family of seven children and nine grandchildren. Plenty Ladylike is her first book.

In 2006 Claire McCaskill was the first woman from Missouri elected as a United States senator and continues to serve in that position today. She has a BA and a JD from the University of Missouri and worked for the Jackson County prosecutor’s office before she was elected to her first state legislature position in the Missouri House in 1982. She lives in St. Louis with her husband and blended family of seven children and nine grandchildren. Plenty Ladylike is her first book.