Reid’s book a good read for teens

   Sen. Harry Reid’s new book, “The Good Fight: Hard Lessons from Searchlight to Washington,” (written with Mark Warren) is a good fit for Independence Day because it tells an all American success story.
   The book switches back and forth in time, from his hardscrabble youth in the mining town of Searchlight to the high-pressure politics of modern-day Washington, D.C.
    I’m fascinated by the people who remain in those dusty desert towns long after the  boom has gone bust, and Reid makes clear he has grown to respect his hometown — where he still has a home — and the lessons he learned there.
   It’s also interesting to read about what went on behind the scenes in Congress from Reid’s perspective, including recent events he faced as Senate majority leader.
   But the thing that kept going through my mind as I read this book was how good it would be for teenagers, who often think they are alone with their problems.
   Well, it turns out Reid grew up in a troubled family with parents who would drink too much and fight too much. He worked from a young age, helping his dad in the mines and holding many other jobs. He didn’t have a lot of money to spend on the latest thing. For him, a great day was when the family radio picked up a baseball game.
   He had to go away to high school in Henderson and had many of the same insecurities as any other teen: Do people like me? Will I succeed? Would that cute girl ever, ever go out with me? In fact, he says his greatest political victory probably was becoming class treasurer because it showed that his peers did think he had something to offer. Maybe other people would, too.
   The message that great things can happen from humble beginnings is a good one for young people. So is the notion that facing the risk of failure also can lead to success. And that’s good advice for anyone.     

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