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Forgetting to Be Afraid: A Memoir

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  410 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A deeply personal memoir by one of the country’s brightest new political stars, Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.

On the 26th of June, 2013, Texas state senator Wendy Davis became an overnight political sensation and a hero to womens’ rights supporters across the country. Davis stood and spoke on the floor of the state legislature for nearly eleven hours
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Blue Rider Press
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The title of Wendy Davis's memoir comes from a quote of Lady Bird Johnson's: "Become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid." The first time I heard of Wendy Davis was when she made a groundbreaking filibuster in 2013. Her goal: to prevent the passing of bill SB 2, which would have severely limited access to safe and legal abortion in the state of Texas. She is now running for Governor, and wrote a memoir, I'm sure, to help gain publicity and votes.

I looked forward to reading Da
Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was more than I had hoped for. It gave me the insight I was curious about in regards to her and also her 13 hour Texas Senate filibuster. Wendy Davis has overcame insurmountable odds that weren't stacked in her favor from the beginning. She had me in laughter at some points and other times in emotional tears but most of all, she kept me wanting to know more. I do believe that she left a part of herself behind in this book and showed us some of her inner most thoughts and insecurities i ...more
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating read. Going into the book, I knew she had a remarkable story, but I hadn't fully appreciated the quantity and magnitude of the obstacles she faced. Plus, I learned that she had a pet squirrel when she was a kid -- so I'm prepared for my next round of pub trivia!
Sydney Young
How to express what this book means to me, to my loved ones, to my Texas? If you think you know the whole story, I promise you, you don't. If you are a woman or love a woman, or have a sister or daughter or mother, you need to read this book.

Read it to gain understanding of what happens to women because they are women. Read it for inspiration on education. Read it for a very interesting civics/ government lesson. Read it for the inside story on the dramatic filibuster last year. It will sadden
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing

inspirational, enthralling, intelligent, well-written

I admired how she took responsibility for mistakes made (in her campaigns and her personal life) and seemed to honestly regret them.
She did a great job of walking the line between being open about her personal life and telling too much--i didn't feel like she was holding back but i also didn't feel like "ooh someone's going to be mad about that chapter"
It was worth 4 stars for the chapter on the filibuster alone. I remember watching the
Pat Ellis
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
A much stronger book than I expected it to be. Explains why she is the independent minded fighter that she is. She writes with great clarity and shares very personal aspects of her life with openness and humility. I hope people will read this book, even beyond the political season. We need more Texas women who will stand up with the good men in Austin and stand up to the rest.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Someone with more literary ability might have made a very good story out of this; as it is, it rambles, and positively drags in places.

Interesting woman and I admire her verve, ambition and determination. I just don't admire her writing.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, non-fiction
Wendy Davis is on the laminated fantasy dinner party invitation list. I sure hope she wins.
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Team Wendy! Bonus points that I met her and she signed this book for me :)
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very timely and inspiring
Erica Villagomez-Cloutier
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying I found great respect for Wendy Davis is 2013 when she filibustered the abortion bill attempting to pass which was set to make it even more difficult for women to seek abortions, despite their reasons. Had this bill been in effect 4 years earlier, my life would have been completely different. When Davis ran for governor again Greg Abbott, I was thrilled! I remember going out to vote for her, because the last thing I wanted for Texas was another Bush or Perry. But sadly Dav ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abortion
Wendy Davis describes "the humanity of the unborn child" when talking about another woman's pregnancy, and makes it clear that she saw her "fetus" Tate as her daughter. She mourned her daughter as a human being, not a collection of cells or tissue. She knows a baby in the womb is a human person. So why has she dedicated herself to defending abortions and making them easy to get?

Does she feel that when a baby is wanted, he or she is a person, but when a baby is not, it's just a subhuman blob? Or
Kathleen Hagen
Forgetting to be Afraid, by wendy Davis, Narrated by Hillary Huber, Produced by Penguin Audio, downloaded fromm

Wendy Davis has had her share of tough fights. Raised by a single mother with a ninth-grade education, Davis began working after school at age fourteen
to contribute to the family finances. By the time she was nineteen, she was living in a trailer park with a baby daughter and holding down two jobs. But
rather than succumb to the cycle of poverty that threatened to overwhelm
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I started reading Wendy's memoir right after I got it for my birthday in September, and didn't end up finishing it until last night. It was hard to read about this courageous woman knowing as I do now that she would lose the gubernatorial election.

She talks a lot about her childhood and formative experiences. I wish she had talked more about her work as a lawyer (hence my 4 star rating). The chapter about her abortion was hard to read. I feel so bad for any woman who ends a wanted pregnancy and
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wendy Davis is a rare politician who entered public service for the right reasons. She believes that her office belongs to the people and passionately advocates for everyone's voice to be heard, especially those who can't speak for themselves. Her memoir describes her life from childhood through her entry into politics as a city councilperson and her experience as a Texas state senator. The climax of her story is a vivid description of filibustering a bill restricting women's reproductive rights ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
I very clearly remember watching a woman I'd never heard of before, filibustering the Texas senate in 2013. I can't remember exactly where I was in my journey to feminism, but I know watching her was an integral part of making me who I am in terms of my views on politics and standing up for what I believe in.

I also remember the devastation of 2014 when Wendy lost the race for governor. I am a resident of South Carolina who is largely unaffected by Texas politics, but I remember crying and cryin
Wendy Davis became a national political figure for her filibuster on the Texas Senate over abortion. This is her story.

Why I started this book: After seeing some mimes from pinterest, I was curious to learn more.

Why I finished it: Crazy long, not in actual length, but in the ability to hold the readers attention, and I should have skipped ahead to her political chapters. (Kind of hard to do in audio books.) And I need to remember that I don't always enjoy autobiographies of people who are still
Emily Schmidt
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I grappled between giving this book four or three stars for quite some time, but I think that I'm finally settling on three because it wasn't until the final 80 pages of the book or so that I really became engrossed. While hearing about Davis' background was certainly interesting, her writing is so straightforward--no frills--that it was a struggle for me to continue at times. Once the book moved away from Davis' upbringing into her political career, I was hooked; hearing about her political str ...more
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting look into the development of a woman politician.She does a good job covering her early years with her dysfunctional family, although repetitious it was of interest. The later part of the book she wrote like the politician she is, endorsing herself and pointing out why she is right on issues. I don't mind the issues as I agree with her (as a liberal Democrat) I just had a hard time taking her any more seriously than any other politician. The part I found fascinating was the punitive m ...more
I very much enjoyed this book. It is a very readable book. I am not from Texas and never heard of Wendy Davis, but the blurb on NetGalley piqued my interest. Unlike a lot of books about political figures, this book was very interesting and well-written. It was about mostly her personal life, but included a good section on her political life. Both parts of her life were written to be read and understood by the average person. She overcame a lot of adversity in her life to be a successful lawyer, ...more
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it
The book starts as a fascinating story of the author's early life and continues on as an easy and interesting read before becoming a tad political for my taste. Wendy's clearly bright and she explains some of her political views (certainly all of them) but the sense of bipartisan warfare, relayed in this book, overshadows the story in the final chapters. I would have liked to know more about her as an adult but this autobiography, written only part-way through her life, probably came out princip ...more
Dec 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Wendy Davis' story was more inspirational than I expected. I hadn't realized her background when I picked it up. She came from pretty tough financial circumstances as a kid, to becoming a mom at 19, scraping to get by, to graduating Harvard Law School and eventually serving in the Texas State Senate. It also reminded me of the far-reaching implications of local politics on our day to day lives. I hope the soap opera that is this year's presidential election doesn't blind people to the difference ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was impressed at how well Wendy Davis wrote. It was interesting to learn more about her personal life. Her campaign was smeared by the other party. They did not treat her well at her Senate filibuster. I found out many details about exactly what happened. She is an amazing woman who overcame many odds. My friend Amy and I were in Haltom City when she announced that she was running for the Governor of Texas. I was so disappointed when she did not win. I wish her the best.
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very well-written book, great pacing, honest account of childhood challenges, filled with thoughts, personal revelations, joys and disappointments. Wendy talks about victories and frustrations as a Democratic politician in trying to help her constituents, and not big business, in a state Legislature saturated with Republicans. A diary of accomplishments, failures, and the details about her epic filibuster. Very enjoyable and enlightening read.
Oct 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the first half of the book but it became tedious the further I read. Wendy Davis is certainly someone to admire as she has accomplished a great deal, often against obstacles that would stop most. My problem with the book is that it read like a resume in prose. It's a memoir, so I should not have been surprised. Those who enjoy a political read that gives insight into a politician's choices will enjoy the book. As I said, I enjoyed the first half but thereafter - no.
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-non-fiction
It's pretty awesome what she has accomplished in her life professionally. I definitely would not have made many of the personal life decisions she has. I would vote for her though as she believes as I do on most of the issues in politics. I also think that removing an ectopic pregnancy along with the fallopian tube is considered abortion in Texas and has to be reported. That is ridiculous!
Anne Mason
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read! I knew Wendy Davis has had struggles in her life, but I had no idea to what extent. It's inspiring to read about someone who keeps getting back up after constantly being knocked down. She is a true fighter, and it was interesting to read about the inner workings of the Texas Senate.
May 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wasn't impressed at all with her story when compared to Maria Toorpakai and Malala Yousafzai.
She stupidly voluntarily married young, got herself pregnant, was never threatened attacked or violated. Yet she claims she's suffered and struggled. Idk, it's not impressive to me to talk for however many hours when there's little repercussion like girls half her age have gone thru.
Wendy Davis is, as Leslie Knope would say, a beautiful, brilliant, talented and powerful musk ox.
Her autobiography is powerful and moving and as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. One of the strongest role models in the entire world.
Melissa Gans
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I like Wendy, but not her writing style. I enjoyed many of the stories she shares, though, and feel the book is worth reading for those moments. It is a valentine to her father, who she heavily identifies with, as they are both dealing with the conflict of embodying opposing characteristics.
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Wendy Russell Davis is an American lawyer and Democratic politician from Fort Worth, Texas. Davis represented District 10 in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015. She previously served on the Fort Worth City Council