Cover image for A good fight
A good fight
Brady, Sarah, 1942-2015.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Public Affairs, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 258 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E840.8.B715 G66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E840.8.B715 G66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E840.8.B715 G66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Brady's autobiography centers on one pivotal event the March 31, 1980 attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, the same shooting that disabled her husband. She describes their lives before and after the shooting, emphasizing how the unexpected can change the life-course of an entire family. She specifically details her activities as an anti-gun activist, and reacts to her recent cancer diagnosis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Advocacy for gun control after her husband, Jim Brady, was shot by the would-be assassin targeting President Reagan, and her own personal fight with lung cancer are the prominent good fights referred to in the title of Sarah Brady's memoir. She met Jim Brady while working in Washington, D.C., for the Republican Party. Jim was eventually named as Reagan's press secretary, heightening the couple's social and political profiles, and leading to the fateful day when he was shot. Their politics eventually changed to opposition to the Republican stance on gun control. Sarah Brady names names--who helped, who didn't, who switched sides, and who sat on the fence--in her David-and-Goliath struggle against the powerful lobby for the National Rifle Association. Her memoir also offers an inspiring story of coping with personal challenges, as Sarah recounts how the shooting affected her family life; her father's death from lung cancer; and her current struggle with lung cancer after a lifetime of heavy smoking. --Vanessa Bush

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers get an intimate look at the events, both personal and professional, that shaped Brady's political career and the direction of U.S. gun legislation in this memoir of the lobbying life. She begins her story on March 30, 1981, when her husband, White House Press Secretary James Brady, was shot in an assassination attempt on President Reagan. His injury and recuperation, filled with close calls and setbacks, takes her on a journey that includes 15 years at the lobbying group Handgun Control, first as a volunteer, then as a board member and finally as its chair until 1996. Brady gives a detailed, suspenseful account of the struggle to pass the Brady bill, a handgun control law finally signed in 1993. Readers will take special interest in her recollections of high-profile politicians. Though she doesn't sling mud, Brady openly expresses her frustration with those who hindered the bill. A lifelong Republican (and an admirer of Reagan), Brady became disillusioned when Bush the elder effectively blocked passage of the bill, and she endorsed Clinton in 1992. Writing in unpretentious prose, she leads the reader from one fight to the next without stopping to feel sorry for herself even in the midst of husband's disability and her own current battle with lung cancer. The book will likely appeal to political enthusiasts and ardent gun-control supporters, and, though Brady is neither as iconoclastic nor as captivating a writer as Katharine Graham, fans of Graham's Personal History may enjoy this story of a determined woman in a male-dominated Washington. 8 pages b&w photos not seen by PW. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The leader of Handgun Control Inc. for several years and wife of Reagan Press Secretary James Brady, Brady chronicles her 20 years of coping with the shooting of her husband and his long rehabilitation, her entry into and extensive involvement with gun control efforts and the Brady Bill, her son's ADD, and her lung cancer. She includes interesting details on the legislative process and on her dealings with major political players on the issue of gun control, but this is not primarily a book about the politics of gun legislation. It is more about her inspiring determination and courage as she carries on through numerous serious setbacks. Brady also describes her political shift away from the Republican Party. Written with former Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report editor McLoughlin, this is her first book. While it may contain too many details about people the Bradys have known along the way, it is an engrossing story of a challenging life. Recommended for general readers at every public library. Mary Jane Brustman, SUNY at Albany Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. IX
1 The Day That Changed Everythingp. 1
2 "Miss Kemp, Don't You Worry"p. 16
3 A Bear Named Bradyp. 30
4 An Inaugural Whirlp. 46
5 God Bless the Greenfield Umbrellap. 53
6 "Free the Bear"p. 65
7 "I Hate John Hinckley!"p. 76
8 The Turning Pointp. 85
9 The Birth of the Brady Billp. 95
10 Learning the Rulesp. 106
11 Cowardly Lions and Brainless Scarecrowsp. 115
12 Party Politics and Brass Knucklesp. 128
13 "Just Tell Howard It's the Devil Herself"p. 141
14 "If You Send Me the Brady Bill, I Will Sign It"p. 152
15 The End of the Glory Yearsp. 162
16 "You'll Be Seen by Millions"p. 172
17 Growing Painsp. 181
18 Back to Basicsp. 193
19 "This Is It, Then? My Life is Over?"p. 200
20 Fighting Backp. 209
21 Packing Heatp. 219
22 Good News, Bad Newsp. 227
23 Thanksgivingp. 235
Cast of Charactersp. 241
Indexp. 245