Jean Westwood called herself an unintentional pioneer.
Although she worked hard to achieve what she did, she did not
actively seek or expect to reach what was arguably the most
powerful political position any American woman had ever held, chair
of the national Democratic Party.
A Utah national committeewoman and member of the reform committee
that reorganized the party, Westwood answered George McGovern's
call to lead his presidential campaign. In the dramatic year of
1972, she became "chairman" of the party, McGovern lost in a
landslide, Nixon was reelected, and a covert operation burglarized
Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate.
Westwood provides an inside account of a period that reshaped
national politics. Second-wave feminism-"women's liberation"-and
the civil rights and antiwar movements opened the way. As a major
player in political reform, Jean Westwood both helped build that
road and traveled it.
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