The Least Among Us

Waging the Battle for the Vulnerable

The outspoken Connecticut congresswoman’s impassioned defense of America’s safety net in the time of Trump

“There is no greater champion for America’s women and families. I am awed and inspired every day by her passion, her spirit, her dedication and determination to fight for our values.” —U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren

Clueless and heartless politicians like Paul Ryan and Donald Trump argue that the people of the United States would be better off without food stamps, Obamacare, and workplace protections. Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro knows these folks are just plain wrong.

Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, DeLauro saw firsthand how vulnerable hardworking people are in the face of corporate indifference and government neglect. From fatal industrial fires to devastating childhood poverty, DeLauro witnessed it all—and emerged convinced that social programs are worth going to the mat for, again and again. Worker protections, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and child tax credits lift up all Americans; they fulfill this country’s promise of opportunity for everyone, and are essential for our country’s health.

For twenty-six years, DeLauro has been fighting for everyday Americans, earning a reputation as the most impassioned defender of our social safety net. The Least Among Us tells the story of a quarter century of deal-making on behalf of people too often overlooked, told by a woman as fearless as she is opinionated. Part House of Cards, part progressive manifesto, The Least Among Us shares lessons about power—how it’s gained and how to wield it for everyone’s benefit.

Praise

“Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is a one-woman truth squad when it comes to calling out the falsehoods and cruelties of current right-wing efforts to slash Social Security, health insurance, and other safety net programs for America’s middle-class and poor families. Her vividly narrated book weaves together policy ideas and personal stories, her own and others, to highlight the high stakes in current battles and point to a better future, where our democracy boosts opportunity and security for all.”
—Theda Skocpol, Harvard University
The Least Among Us is a captivating read, part passion for justice, part primer on politics and just a great story about federal politics and politicians over the last thirty years. It should be required reading for all who wonder what hard-working politicians do and why federal legislation matters. If you care about our nation in these turbulent times, read The Least Among Us and engage in our political process. We need more people with Rosa DeLauro’s passion for justice.”
—Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
The Least Among Us is impossible to stop reading once you’ve begun. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro’s life is filled with generosity, dedication, and most of all vitality for everyone!”
—Lilly Ledbetter, fair pay activist
“Rosa’s book rings to me like the political analog of what Peter, Paul, and Mary aspired to achieve for us in activist/musical terms. We sought to inspire a thirst for justice and fairness in our songs, but Rosa’s tenacious advocacy translates these values into action. Read this book and restore your faith in the woolly world of politics. For those like Rosa, principle, love of justice, and humility remain uncorrupted, even if the ‘F’ word is unceremoniously dropped from time to time.”
—Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary
“Can you imagine how cool the world would be if we had Rosa DeLauro getting s*** done instead of Congress being held hostage by terrible people!”
Wonkette
“Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro has been at the pinnacle of national power for a quarter century, and yet she’s never forgotten where she came from. From her childhood in a working-class immigrant neighborhood, to her fight for recognition in a male-dominated political world, to her commitment to restoring the American Dream that she herself was lucky enough to experience, Rosa tells a story as personal as it is universal, as timely as it is timeless. Read this memoir-manifesto and come away inspired.”
—Jacob S. Hacker, Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science, Yale University
“Hubert Humphrey famously said, ‘The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.’ By that standard, Rosa DeLauro passes with flying colors. In Congress, she has fought tirelessly, passionately and courageously for the weakest and most vulnerable among us. In this compelling book, she both records the battles from the inside, and offers a comprehensive blueprint for the future.”
—Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute
“Rosa is willing to speak truth to power and just get things done. Whether I was Secretary of Labor or fighting the Trans Pacific Partnership, she was the one pushing the hardest for an economy with more middle-class jobs—and she’s that rare leader who won’t accept losing.”
—Robert Reich
The Least Among Us brings center-stage Rosa DeLauro’s strong, intellectual understanding of the issues with a visceral commitment to protect those who most need our help. This book provides an important look back on the fights we have won and lost and a roadmap forward to achieve this most noble and necessary pursuit.”
—Former U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd