The leading feminist in Congress for nearly twenty-five years, Pat Schroeder was elected in 1972. Beloved by the left and despised by the right, she was at the forefront of a new wave of assertive women lawmakers who refused to play by the old rules. This is the first biography of the outspoken Colorado Democrat, who has remained in the limelight since leaving public office.
Schroeder's political career began at a time when many congressional committees were still controlled by a southern gerontocracy. She quickly established a reputation for speaking out in support of left-of-center causes that few of her colleagues would take on. Her razor wit and a talent for creating sound bites endeared her to the media (she coined the phrase "the Teflon president" to describe Ronald Reagan). But she proved equally adept at wielding influence in the vanguard of change. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, she was instrumental in passing legislation to end sexism in the military despite vicious personal attacks following the U. S. Navy Tailhook scandal. She was in the forefront of exposing gender bias in medical research and was an architect of the family leave bill.
Author Joan Lowy covered Schroeder's congressional career for ten years and was given unlimited access to Schroeder's staff for this biography.