Memoir for historians
Unlike most spouses of celebrity public
figures, Bethine Church has not suffered the inevitable obscurity reserved for
And for good reason: She simply chose not
to walk in the shadows during the life of her husband, the late four-term U.S.
Sen. Frank Church, nor to fade away as a widow now in her 80th year.
She immersed herself as the activist grand
dame of Idaho’s Democratic Party, the driving force for the annual Frank Church
lecture series, the patron saint of the Sawtooth Society, and a willing
volunteer for any appeal requiring wisdom and energy.
Now she adds another title—author.
Her new book, "A Lifelong Affair: My
Passion for People and Politics," (328 pages, The Francis Press, $26) is an
important contribution to the political archives of Idaho and the nation, as
well as a travelogue of her jouneys and travails through life with a man who
pioneered daring environmental laws and took on the CIA’s secrecy.
Bethine Church, the daughter and niece of
Idaho governors, shares the joys and heartbreak, plus personal details of
encounters with the powerful of Washington as well as world capitals.
Sen. Church, the youngest U.S. senator
when first elected, left a distinguished legacy of courage, vision and
legislative boldness by the time he died in 1984.
Bethine Church has already provided an
admirable legacy of civic achievement for history to judge, and now adds a book
worthy of study in college political science classes as well as inspiration for
others seeking to bring good to their communities.