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*Celebrate July 4 by reading a copy of “Fifty-Two Words My Husband Taught Me,”
a book about love, inspiration and the power of the Constitution*
Author and attorney Joy Rodino writes a poignant memoir about the wisdom she learned from her husband of 16 years, Congressman Peter Rodino, an expert on the power and relevance of the Preamble
Newark, NJ / Washington DC, July 2, 2009 — As we celebrate the July 4th holiday, it is the perfect time to ask, “Why is the Preamble to the Constitution relevant today?” For the answer, pick up a copy of “Fifty-Two Words My Husband Taught Me,” by attorney Joy Rodino. She offers insights through the eyes of her late husband, Congressman Peter Rodino, a 40-year legislator and defender of the Constitution who believed the Preamble is our country’s soul, “not only projecting a vision of who we are as a people, but also expressing the limitless possibilities of all we can be.”
“In these troubled times, when nothing is certain, people are searching for meaning in their lives,” she says. “These 52 words of the Preamble remind us of the importance of upholding our highest ideals, and that there is security in the values and principles inherent in the foundation of our nation.”
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
In this eloquent, easy-to-read book, Rodino recounts the inspiring story of her husband, the son of immigrants who grew up in a New Jersey tenement to rise to the post of Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He then went on to guide the United States through its gravest constitutional crisis: the 1974 Nixon impeachment inquiry, which affirmed the sanctity of the rule of law.
“Peter told me that the last thing he wanted to do was to impeach the president and hold him responsible for misdeeds that would have caused him to be removed from office,” Joy Rodino shares, noting that the Congressman venerated the office of the president and was determined to conduct the inquiry thoroughly, fairly and impartially. Ultimately, the weight of the evidence and the bipartisan spirit that Congressman Rodino fostered led to the Judiciary Committee’s vote to impeach Nixon.
On that historic day on July 27, 1974, after Committee held a televised debate and Peter Rodino voted aye to recommend impeachment, Joy tells of the Congressman’s very private, very personal reaction.
She writes: “He adjourned the meeting, bypassed all the reporters and staff, when into his little office off the committee room, and called his [first] wife. ‘Ann, I guess you heard.’ And he put the phone down and burst into tears.”
The events surrounding the Committee’s impeachment vote and Nixon’s subsequent resignation are just a portion of the touching, insightful story of the life of a man who loved his country, believed in the power and importance of democracy, and dedicated his life to ensuring that others embrace the beauty and gift of what it means to be an American.
“Peter was an inspiration to me,” says the author. “This book is my way of saying ‘thank you’ to him and paying tribute to his legacy. It is also my sincere hope that readers come away with a deeper appreciation and respect for the rights and liberties that we are privileged to enjoy.”
Books can be purchased at www.peterrodino.com, as well as a variety of bookstores throughout northern New Jersey including Seton Hall Law School Bookstore in Newark, Bookends in Ridgewood, Sages Pages in Madison, Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, Words in Maplewood, NJ — and Politics & Prose in Washington, DC.
About Joy Rodino — After graduating from Smith College in 1963, Joy Rodino served as executive assistant to Congressman Peter Rodino in his Washington, DC office. In 1977, she graduated from Northeastern University Law School and pursued a career as a public interest attorney. She reunited with Rodino on a legislative matter in 1987 — they married in 1989 and were together for sixteen years until his death in 2005. Joy lives in northern New Jersey, where she practices law. For details, visit www.peterrodino.com.
*What people are saying about Fifty-Two Words My Husband Taught Me
I’m sure my brother would have called him a profile in courage. I feel the same way. — Senator Ted Kennedy
Joy Rodino chronicles the sum of an American statesman’s life in this inspiring song of praise for Chairman Rodino’s storied rise from humble origins to serve his nation during one of the most challenging chapters in American history. Joy’s memoir, told with uncommon grace, is a loving testimony to her husband’s splendid legacy. — Judge Paul W. Armstrong, Superior Court of New Jersey
This beautiful book is a must-read for all who believe deeply in “the blessings of liberty.” In these chapters, so masterfully rendered, we are reminded that wisdom and compassion are indivisible, and that each and every one of us can, as Peter Rodino always said, live a life that matters. — Paula A. Franzese, Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law
Congressman Rodino was my childhood hero for many reasons, but the most significant was that he loved and lived the United States Constitution every day. In these extraordinary pages his wife Joy captures the congressman’s passion in a way that no one else could, with deep and abiding affection. — Steve Adubato, Ph.D., author of Make the Connection, Emmy Award-winning anchor, Thirteen / WNET (PBS)
• FIFTY-TWO WORDS MY HUSBAND TAUGHT ME by Joy Rodino
• Published by DRJ Publishing
• Price: $14.95 (Paperback)
• 96 pages
• ISBN: 978-0-615-25938-3