"Lifetime public servant, Bob Abrams has penned an engaging memoir that documents his career battling against powerful foes in protection of the environment, women’s access to reproductive health care, and the civil rights of New Yorkers. Inspiring and relevant, this book gives us hope during these challenging times that vital victories can always be achieved."
DAVID N. DINKINS
Former Mayor, City of New York
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Abrams, born and raised in the Bronx, went on to become a crusading attorney general of New York from 1979 to 1993. As a reformer, he battled political machine bosses and special interests, winning historic victories for consumers, protecting the environment, and a woman’s right to choose. As president of the National Association of Attorneys General, he led attorneys general across the nation to protect the rights of all Americans.
In recognition of his contributions to the people of New York State, the Justice Building in Albany was renamed The Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice.
ABOUT THE BOOK
At the heart of this political memoir is the story of how the office of state attorney general, an historically sleepy backwater post, has evolved into a front line major protector of the rights of citizens throughout this nation. During the Reagan years, New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams and his colleagues across the country set the precedent for the successful challenges mounted by today’s attorneys general against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and rollbacks of consumer, environmental and civil rights protections.
Through lively anecdotes, Abrams captures the Bronx of his childhood, his early insurgent grassroots campaigns taking on the powerful Democratic Party machine, the urban challenges of being Bronx Borough President, the turbulent Vietnam anti-war years, and the beginnings of the environmental justice movement. He revisits the explosive Tawana Brawley case where an African American teenage girl alleged rape and brutality by a group of white men that included law enforcement officials.
Abrams provides behind-the-scenes interactions with important figures ranging from Golda Meir, George McGovern, Mario Cuomo, Robert Moses, Cesar Chavez to Shirley Chisholm. The book demonstrates how ordinary people battling unequal odds against corporate interests can prevail when laws are enforced to protect their rights. Abrams recounts his launching of the landmark Love Canal case and other key environmental initiatives. He describes dramatic confrontations with the radical anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue, and its increasingly violent efforts to deny a woman’s right to choose. His courageous, path-breaking support of LGBT rights, seeking to end the prevailing bigotry with legal victories that ultimately led to marriage equality is also revisited.
In The Luckiest Guy in the World, Robert Abrams wears his progressive values on his sleeve, providing an optimistic view about our nation’s return to its fundamental values.