The Confession
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The Confession

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  25 reviews
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...more
Unknown Binding, 369 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by ReganBooks
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Carrie Solinger
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This book is a personal narrative and a description of New Jersey politics. It's sad that the circumstances of McGreevey's life forced this resignation, because the list of his achievements (early childhood education, insurance reform, tax redistribution, land conservation, and in the end, campaign finance reform) shows that he provided good governance within the realm of the possible.

McGreevey gives insight into the life of a statewide political leader. None of your life, nor that of your spous...more
Iris Robinson
Really interesting! I vaguely remember McGreevey's on-air confession, wayyyy before equality became a mainstream issue. It was enlightening to listen to his story, written in 2006, 7 years later. It shows you how far society has come in terms of LGBT rights and our views on it. Back in 2004, this was a BIG deal. A confession of an affair is of course still a big deal, but now there are many politicians who were openly gay when elected.

I felt more sympathy for McGreevey concerning his particular...more
After reading this book I felt sadness for him and glad that he finally found the courage to be himself. The years he had to live a lie and hide his sexual orientation were sad and painful. It taught me that sometimes as parents we automatically assume our children are going to like/love the opposite sex, but we don't know. I learned how to better approach the subject of homosexuallity and sex in general with my children. I don't wish the pain and suffering he felt growing up on anyone. It's a v...more
In August 2004, New Jersey Governor James McGreevey made history when he stepped before microphones and 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.

We met James McGreevey when he visited th...more
Phil Williams
There is a great deal of good explanation of pay-for-play politics and the book goes into great detail of what campaining is like for a politician in todays America. I had a hard time liking McGreevey though because of his self loathing which is because of his Catholic upbringing. Nothing spreads hate like religion and if he had of been raised in a less religious household he wouldn't have wasted 48 years learing to like himself.
He remembers things differently than his wife did in her book. And, illumination, he barely mentions her in this book, as if she was furniture. Though he never really says anything bad about her.

I feel for him, how hard it was to choke back his real self his whole life, how scared he was. But he did SO much damage to other people, unneeded, selfish damage.

Yeah, he's still a dick. But now he's kind of a sad, pitiful dick.
I read his ex-wife's book, and thought I'd read his to get a balanced picture of what happened. Overall I thought the book was good. Gave a lot of the "backstory" into New Jersey politics, which was interesting. Someone else's review had said there weren't as many life lessons as they had hoped, and I would agree with that comment. That said, I am glad he is now living his own truth and hope he is enjoying life to its fullest.
Oct 17, 2007 Larry rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I was not expecting to like this book and ended up being pleasantly surprised by it.The first part is very politically and religiously involved. He was a strong Catholic and really was politically driven.He talks about both his marriages,his children,his parents,his annonomous sex adventures,crushes,unrequited loves,his affair with golen,his road to recovery and search for happiness. Well written and I felt very honest.
With breathtaking honesty and detail, McGreevey tells a story that goes well beyond what the reader might at first expect. Reading his memoir has left me not only perplexed at an incredibly interesting, public coming out story but has also taught me much about the fascinating inside life of state politics.
Very interesting read, although the apologetics for what were ultimately his own choices are a bit wearying. Still, a fascinating look at what ambition and fear can do to an otherwise decent person. Especially recommended for those interested in NJ politics.
Kevin L.
The former governor of New Jersey and his estrange wife are currently battling our their divorce in court. This is an insightful telling of how the desire to be someone we aren't causes many problems within our own and the lives of others.
May 16, 2008 Yak added it
Interesting both from the perspective of politics at the state level, and of course McGreevey's struggles with himself as a devout Catholic and closeted gay man. Not worth reading again, but it should be interesting to New jersey residents and gays.
I enjoyed this book probably because I've met him on numerous occasions and live in his area. I also knew a few people mentioned in the book so that was interesting. He's such a smart man I can't beleive he did something so stupid!
Jun 04, 2007 Matthew rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in campaign politics or homos
Lots of information on campaigning and what its like to hold a powerful position as a closeted gay man. Not as many "life lessons" as I would have wanted out of a book like this, but still good.
This was an interesting book, but not enough personal anecdotes in it. Too professionally written, we want to see more emotion. Flat and boring at some points.
Caz Edmunds
Late perhaps as it may, this is how people are when they decide to live their life based on Truth.

Live it so. Because....IT gets Better!
What a pity that this man had to disguise his true nature in order to achieve the political career that he strived for.
Definitely can relate to the storyline (DUH!), but found much of the "filler" regarding politics sooooo boring!
True story of the former NJ Governor coming out as a gay man. Very interesting.
Jill deResendes
If you read Silent Partner then you must read his side.
Annie Mesaros
A very thoughtful memoir! Loved it both times.
I found Jim McGreevey inspiring and brave.
Deborah Dietzler
Listened to it on audio.
Very personal & revealing.
Ane added it
May 23, 2014
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May 12, 2014
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James Edward "Jim" McGreevey is an American Democratic politician. He served as the 52nd Governor of New Jersey from January 15, 2002, until November 15, 2004, when he left office three months after admitting that he had had an extramarital affair with a male employee. Upon publicly revealing his homosexuality on August 12, 2004, McGreevey became the first and, to date, the only openly gay state g...more
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The Confession

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