"Between Worlds" by Bill Richardson

Brian Gongol

One-paragraph review: The proudly business-friendly Democrat is a fairly endangered species in 2016, which is what makes Bill Richardson's memoir (published in 2005) seem like a peculiar historical artifact. Richardson's name was in wide circulation in the 1990s and into the early 2000s, when his rising star took him through Congress, a Cabinet post, and the New Mexico governorship. Having lost his run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008, Richardson's occasional reappearances in the public eye have been less frequent in the last decade. His book is fairly forthright about his mistakes and conflicts with others, which is perhaps its most attractive feature. Not a lot of Democrats would be willing to air their dirty laundry about conflicts with Bill Clinton, for instance. A groundbreaking book it is not, but as a political autobiography/memoir, it's a reminder that parties don't have to be ideological straitjackets. The Democratic Party would be stronger with more business-friendly types like Richardson, just like the Republicans would be better with more socially progressive members.

Verdict: An interesting political time capsule left behind by a politician whose ideology has largely gone missing