The Confession by P-HarpercollinsPubl

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In August 2004, Governor James E. McGreevey of New Jersey made history when he stepped before microphones, declared "My truth is that I am a gay American," and announced his resignation. The story made international headlines—but what led to that moment was a human and political drama more complex and fascinating than anyone knew. Now, in this extraordinarily candid memoir, McGreevey shares his story of a life of ambition, moral compromise, and redemption.From childhood, McGreevey lived a kind of idealized American life. The son of working-class Irish Catholic parents, named for an uncle who died at Iwo Jima, he strove to exceed expectations in everything he did, meeting each new challenge as though his "future rode on every move." As a young man he was tempted by the priesthood, yet it was another calling—politics—that he found irresistible. Plunging early into the dangerous waters of New Jersey politics, he won three elections by the age of thirty-six, and soon thereafter nearly toppled the state's popular governor, Christie Todd Whitman, in a photo-finish election. Four years later, he won the governorship by a landslide.Throughout his adult life, however, Jim McGreevey had been forced to suppress a fundamental truth about himself: that he was gay. He knew at once that the only clear path to his dreams was to live a straight life, and so he split in two, accepting the traditional role of family man while denying his deepest emotions. And he discovered, to his surprise, that becoming a political player demanded ethical shortcuts that became as corrosive as living in the closet. In the cutthroat culture of political bosses, backroom deals, and the insidious practice known as "pay-to-play," he writes, "political compromises came easy to me because I'd learned how to keep a part of myself innocent of them." His policy triumphs as governor were tempered by scandal, as the transgressions of his staff came back to haunt him. Yet only when a former lover threatened to ex

More Info
									The Confession
Author: James E. McGreevey
Other: David France
Description

In August 2004, Governor James E. McGreevey of New Jersey made history when he stepped before
microphones, declared "My truth is that I am a gay American," and announced his resignation. The story
made international headlines—but what led to that moment was a human and political drama more
complex and fascinating than anyone knew. Now, in this extraordinarily candid memoir, McGreevey
shares his story of a life of ambition, moral compromise, and redemption.From childhood, McGreevey
lived a kind of idealized American life. The son of working-class Irish Catholic parents, named for an uncle
who died at Iwo Jima, he strove to exceed expectations in everything he did, meeting each new challenge
as though his "future rode on every move." As a young man he was tempted by the priesthood, yet it was
another calling—politics—that he found irresistible. Plunging early into the dangerous waters of New
Jersey politics, he won three elections by the age of thirty-six, and soon thereafter nearly toppled the
state's popular governor, Christie Todd Whitman, in a photo-finish election. Four years later, he won the
governorship by a landslide.Throughout his adult life, however, Jim McGreevey had been forced to
suppress a fundamental truth about himself: that he was gay. He knew at once that the only clear path to
his dreams was to live a straight life, and so he split in two, accepting the traditional role of family man
while denying his deepest emotions. And he discovered, to his surprise, that becoming a political player
demanded ethical shortcuts that became as corrosive as living in the closet. In the cutthroat culture of
political bosses, backroom deals, and the insidious practice known as "pay-to-play," he writes, "political
compromises came easy to me because I'd learned how to keep a part of myself innocent of them." His
policy triumphs as governor were tempered by scandal, as the transgressions of his staff came back to
haunt him. Yet only when a former lover threatened to expose him did he finally confront his divided soul,
and find the authentic self that had always eluded him.More than a coming-out memoir, The Confession
is the story of one man's quest to repair the rift between his public and private selves, at a time in our
culture when the personal and political have become tangled like frayed electric cables. Teeming with
larger-than-life characters, written with honesty, grace, and rare insight into what it means to negotiate
the minefields of American public life, it may be among the most honest political memoirs ever written.
Excerpt

One late-summer Sunday night in 2002, well before my political career collapsed, I was helping my wife,
Dina, tuck our daughter into bed. Well, not helping, exactly. Even as I stood in the bedroom doorway
watching my family, my ear was glued to a cell phone. Through the phone came the voice of a former
employee named Golan Cipel. In a spectacular lapse of judgment, I had put Golan on my payroll while at
the same time initiating a secret sexual relationship with him.A few weeks earlier, both arrangements had
ended badly, after press questions about his qualifications reached critical mass. Golan still hadn't
recovered, and he had taken to calling me day and night to ask for his job back. I listened to him
tirelessly—in part because I wanted to help him if I could, but mostly because I still loved him. But there
was no way I could do what he wanted.I loved Golan Cipel, a handsome and bright man a few years my
junior, and I wanted him to be happy. But I was a married man, a father, and the governor of New Jersey.
There was no chance he could rejoin my administration.I had no reason to believe that Dina suspected
my affair with Golan, or even the fact that I was gay. She probably already knew I didn't love her anymore,
not in the way a man loves his wife. It had been a long time since we'd last been intimate. Lately, what
drove us forward had been little more than the momentum of a public life.Maybe unconsciously I wanted
to bring it all to a head that night. How else can I explain why I answered Golan's phone call in her
presence? The longer I stood in that doorway watching my wife and daughter and listening to my former
lover on the phone, the closer my world came to imploding. Nothing I told him mollified his pain, which I
believe had more to do with his stalled career in government than with our failed affair. He missed me, I
felt sure, mostly because he missed having access to power."My life is over," he was saying. The bad
press, he claimed, had ruined his reputation. "Nobody is supporting me out here.""We'll get through this,
Golan," I assured him. "This is the big leagues. You're going to get knocks."Dina had a rule about not
interrupting our daughter's time with work calls, and as I struggled to get off the phone, I watched her
growing increasingly angry. But then I saw a light bulb flick on in her eyes. She tucked Jacqueline into
her covers and pushed past me in a rage, just as I was hanging up.After we were safely out of
Jacqueline's earshot, she turned and glared at me."This whole thing is ridiculous," she said.I knew
exactly what she meant. "What thing?" I asked anyway.She walked back toward me, in the darkened
hallway, until we were close enough for her to study my face. "Are you gay?"All my life I had dreaded that
question. Others had asked it, and I can't think of a time when I lied affirmatively about my sexuality, but I
lied every day by omission and obfuscation. And I allowed others to lie for me. My marriage to Dina was a
major part of that lie; that much I knew consciously. As our years together ticked by, I found it harder and
harder to deny the truth. Being gay is a fundamental part of my being—the core of who I've always been,
and the thing I had repressed and run from all my life.For a brief moment I thought I could stop running
that day. But I didn't have the nerve to tell my wife the truth. Instead I said nothing.I've never been much
for self-revelation. In two decades of public life, I have always approached the limelight with extreme
caution. Not that I kept my personal life off-limits; rather, the personal...
Author Bio
James E. McGreevey
James E. McGreevey was the governor of New Jersey from January 2002 to November 2004. Born in
Jersey City, he earned degrees from Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard before serving three terms as
the mayor of Woodbridge, New Jersey. After a narrow defeat in 1997, he was elected to the governor's
seat in 2001. He lives in Plainfield, New Jersey, with his partner, Mark O'Donnell, and daughter
Jacqueline; his daughter Morag lives in British Columbia.www.jamesemcgreevey.comTo receive notice of
author events and new books by James E. McGreevey, sign up at authortracker.com.


David France
James E. McGreevey was the governor of New Jersey from January 2002 to November 2004. Born in
Jersey City, he earned degrees from Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard before serving three terms as
the mayor of Woodbridge, New Jersey. After a narrow defeat in 1997, he was elected to the governor's
seat in 2001. He lives in Plainfield, New Jersey, with his partner, Mark O'Donnell, and daughter
Jacqueline; his daughter Morag lives in British Columbia.www.jamesemcgreevey.comTo receive notice of
author events and new books by James E. McGreevey, sign up at authortracker.com.

								
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