Cover image for Inside : a public and private life
Inside : a public and private life
Califano, Joseph A., Jr., 1931-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 539 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E840.8.C35 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E840.8.C35 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Joe Califano grew up in a tight-knit working class family in Depression-era Brooklyn. His parents instilled in their son a work ethic, sense of self, and devotion to Church that stayed with him as he rose through the ranks of America's ruling class. From Jesuit undergraduate schools to Harvard Law, influential law firms, Robert McNamara's Pentagon, Lyndon Johnson's White House, and Jimmy Carter's Cabinet, Califano was hard charging, effective, and committed to his causes--whether that meant reforming the military, working for equal rights for all, his struggle to be a committed Catholic in America, or finally his passion to combat addictions that ruin so many American lives.

The book is called Inside , and that's where it takes us--inside his public and private life--as Califano worked in the power centers of three Democratic administrations. He shows us how hardball is often necessary to make government serve its people. Califano remained "inside" even out of government, representing the Washington Post and Democratic Party during Watergate.

Inside is history, memoir, and a profoundly revealing personal drama of a powerful figure involved in many defining events of the last half century. It is a tale of how ambition, tenacity and courage, guided by deeply felt ethics, can move the world, from the inside.

Author Notes

Joseph Anthony Califano, Jr. is the Chairman of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. He served as United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter.

Califano graduated from College of the Holy Cross in 1952 and from Harvard Law School in 1955.

Califano has written several books, including: The Student Revolution: A Global Confrontation, A Presidential Nation, Governing America: An Insider's Report from the White House and the Cabinet, The 1982 Report on Drug Abuse and Alcoholism, America's Health Care Revolution: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Pays, The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years, Radical Surgery: What's Next for America's Health Care, and How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Since he has already written about working for LBJ ( The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson0 , 1991), Califano sensibly shortens his White House days in this full-fledged review of his life. As his title announces, Califano has been part of Washington's lawyer-lobbying class: at his peak of influence in the 1970s, he was a partner of legendary lawyer Edward Bennett Williams and was President Jimmy Carter's first secretary of health, education, and welfare. Had Califano dwelt on political war stories, his memoir might have spoken only to Beltway cognoscenti, but a theme infrequently found among contemporary political memoirists distinguishes this one. It is the author's examination of his religion, Roman Catholicism, and its presence in his life alongside his roles in creating, managing, and advocating for the welfare state. He counts late 1950s Catholic discussion groups as influencing him to become a liberal Democrat and elsewhere talks revealingly about having his first marriage annulled and coping with cancer. From Vatican II to Watergate, Califano makes his recollections intimate and interesting. --Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This is the most revealing political memoir from a Washington insider since Katharine Graham's Personal History. Launched into government out of Harvard Law School after a boyhood in middle-class Brooklyn, Califano (b. 1931) was a player in many of the key political conflicts of the past half-century. A "whiz kid" in Robert McNamara's Pentagon, he rose to be virtually "deputy president" for domestic policies under Lyndon Johnson. As a high-powered Washington lawyer during Nixon's administration, he represented both the Democratic Party and the Washington Post during the Watergate crisis. As Jimmy Carter's secretary of health, education and welfare, he launched a controversial campaign against smoking, defended Title IX anti-sex discrimination rules on college sports and grappled with ethical issues like in vitro fertilization-indeed, a running theme of this frank autobiography is Califano's inner struggles to reconcile the demands of politics with the dictates of his Catholic upbringing. There are a few startling moments: a youthful Hillary Rodham cursing out Califano at a congressional hearing in 1970 (two years before applying for a job at his law firm); Califano advising his friend and White House chief of staff Alexander Haig to have Nixon burn the incriminating Watergate tapes; House Speaker Tip O'Neill warning Califano that tobacco firms were capable of having him murdered for his anti-smoking stand. LBJ, Post publisher Katharine Graham and law partner Edward Bennett Williams emerge as Califano's heroes, while the portraits of Carter and New York governor Mario Cuomo are scathing. In sum, this is a revealing self-portrait filled with vivid scenes from four decades near the center of American government. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Apr. 6) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Califano (The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years) presents a fascinating memoir of his experiences inside high levels of government-as general counsel of the U.S. Army for John Kennedy, chief domestic adviser to Lyndon Johnson, and secretary of health, education, and welfare under Jimmy Carter. He also takes the reader inside his personal life, as he discusses frankly his molestation by a priest, firing by President Carter, failed first marriage, battles with colon and prostate cancer, and strong Catholic faith. Califano describes with pride his role in the Civil Rights Movement and his admiration for the often explosive LBJ, but he does not ignore his own regrettable actions. These include his vigorous participation in trying, by any means necessary, to rid Cuba of Castro and suggesting to Nixon adviser Alexander Haig that he tell the President to burn the Watergate tapes and claim executive privilege. Although Califano gained much personal satisfaction as Johnson's and Carter's chief promoter of domestic policy, he claims that his most gratifying achievement was establishing the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse in 1992. Califano offers an engaging and often introspective firsthand account of the important events of post-World War II America. Highly recommended for most public libraries.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. IX
1 The Familyp. 3
2 The Early Yearsp. 15
3 Born, Bred, and Branded Catholicp. 21
4 A Jesuit Educationp. 32
5 A Harvard Law School Educationp. 45
6 Landlubber in the Navyp. 52
7 A Bite of the Big Applep. 57
8 Political Awakeningp. 63
9 Comfortable and Catholic in New Yorkp. 67
10 Ringing Doorbells for Kennedyp. 74
11 A Whiz Kid in McNamara's Pentagonp. 86
12 In the Army on the Home Frontp. 101
13 Getting Fidelp. 115
14 When Kennedy Was Shotp. 128
15 Isthmus Insurrectionp. 130
16 Troubleshooting for McNamarap. 137
17 The LBJ Yearsp. 151
18 Recharging Batteriesp. 188
19 Washington Lawyer: Arnold & Porterp. 191
20 Washington Lawyer: Williams, Connolly & Califanop. 216
21 The Democratic Party's Cultural Revolutionp. 236
22 Watergatep. 267
23 Putting the First Amendment Firstp. 309
24 Washington Palsp. 321
25 The Last Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfarep. 325
26 What's Next?p. 372
27 My Own Law Firmp. 379
28 Hilary Paley Byersp. 390
29 Lawyer in the Housep. 400
30 From Washington to Wall Streetp. 413
31 A New Lifep. 450
32 The Annulmentp. 464
33 Confronting Cancerp. 473
A Final Reflectionp. 491
Acknowledgmentsp. 495
Photo Permissionsp. 497
Notesp. 499
Indexp. 519