Ed Garvey Unvarnished
Lessons from a Visionary Progressive
“An important reference for anyone concerned about the future of progressive politics. This book provides insight into the thinking and political evolution of a key leader.”
Ed Garvey (1940–2017) was one of the most influential and colorful progressive politicians in Wisconsin’s history. Growing up in what was a conservative rural town, he got his first taste of liberal activism at the University of Wisconsin in the 1960s, became the first executive director of the National Football League Players’ Union, led two spirited campaigns against Bob Kasten and Tommy Thompson, and eventually cofounded the Fighting Bob Fest.
Shortly before he died, Garvey expressed his views on everything in a series of detailed, no-holds-barred interviews with journalist Rob Zaleski. In his trademark witty, blunt, and often abrasive style, he offered his impressions of the political climate, worries about the environment, and Act 10 protests on Capitol Square. Garvey’s candor during these conversations provides deeper insight into the personal highs and lows he experienced over his rich life. Diehard followers will fondly remember his energetic campaigns, but they may be surprised to learn of his long-simmering disappointment after those losses. Ever timely and meaningful, Garvey’s words offer a path for how the Democratic Party, both within Wisconsin and nationally, can regain its soul.
“It’s a warm and candid portrait of the progressive lawyer and political candidate famous for his dry wit and verbal takedowns of those who didn’t see things as he did, which is to say, most Republicans.”
“Zaleski’s book lays out before us and one of the most colorful and influential icons in Wisconsin history.”
—The Capital Times
“A longtime reporter for Madison’s The Capitol Times, Zaleski closely observed his subject for many years. . . . Zaleski acknowledges mistakes but finds a ‘kind, compassionate man and a fierce, uncompromising fighter for the have-nots.’ Few people who knew him would disagree.”
“It’s reinvigorating to hear again the piercing wit and urgent wisdom of Ed Garvey. Rob Zaleski’s book is a treasure not only for anyone who knew Ed but also for anyone concerned about democracy or Wisconsin politics.”
—Matthew Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Of Related Interest
LC: 2019008126 F
208 pp. 5.5 x 8.5
13 b/w photos