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Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  12,871 ratings  ·  1,923 reviews

A mayor’s inspirational story of a Midwest city that has become nothing less than a blueprint for the future of American renewal.

Once described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-six-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has improbably emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politic

Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Liveright
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Pamela Harder I got it thru my local library, they have the ebook and audiobook. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author. Highly recommend.
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  12,871 ratings  ·  1,923 reviews

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Justin Tate
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2/7/2020 update: congratulations Mayor Pete! Take this all the way to the end!

God, yes! A presidential candidate who went to Harvard for LITERATURE. There's even a chapter where he discusses the beauty of "linguistic rhythm."


Oh yeah, he did some other things too, like fight for our country and turn a dying city around. But that's not nearly as important.

Being honest, after 2016 I mostly keep my head in the sand. I wander around, blissfully pretending that I don't live in a United States
Larry H
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where my reading is concerned, I mainly subsist on a diet of fiction (both mainstream and YA), thrillers, and rom-coms, with the occasional dash of sci-fi/fantasy. But every now and again I choose to sample a little nonfiction, usually in the form of memoirs, when someone that interests or fascinates me writes one.

I first heard of Pete Buttigieg when he ran for chair of the Democratic National Committee. I didn't know much about him other than that he had made real progress as the mayor of South
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This man makes me proud to have chosen to live (although begrudgingly at first) in the Midwest. This is not flyover country. It’s easy to be a Democrat and super liberal on a coast, it’s another thing to live your values in a place where not everyone feels the same way you do...and find you actually love when you can find something you agree on! Read. This. Book. This man should be president.
Nick Pageant
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I have all the thoughts and none of the words... I really enjoyed this book and truly admire this man. I'm honestly frightened by how inspired I am by him and how hopeful he makes me feel because I'm terrified to back someone who, for obvious reasons, might not be able to win the biggest race in our lifetimes... but, FUCK IT! I'm voting Mayor Pete and I hope you will too. End of totally unacceptable politically motivated review. ...more
I am attempting to read books by the various presidential candidates for the 2020 election. The list is long and Buttigieg is one of them. Buttigieg tells the story of his life to date. He appears to be a very smart young man. He graduated from Harvard and was a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford. He is a Navy veteran. He is the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He studied government in school and he did a summer internship with Senator Teddy Kennedy. These two things do allow him some knowledge about the wor ...more
Elyse  Walters
Audiobook read by Pete Buttigieg

It rattles my brain realizing that Pete Buttigieg, 36 years of age, is a year ‘younger’ than our oldest daughter.
MAYOR PETE has a vision for America —and I like his vision!!!!

Pete wants to ensure that America’s future is better than its past.
That every American has the freedom to live a life of their own choosing.
Where racial justice is a reality and not a dream.
Where we put an end to endless war.
Where we’ve summoned the national will to meet the challenge of
I initially contributed (a very small amount) to Buttigieg's political campaign, but unfortunately this book solidifies for me that he is not actually ready to be President. I haven't decided who I am voting for in the democratic primary, but it more than likely won't be him. Why? Many reasons, but here's the run down from what I discovered in this book:

- I'll start off with the stupidest reason first: he spends a whole chapter explaining how he goes on regular runs with two other guys and then
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If anyone has any doubts of what kind of man and leader Mayor Buttigieg is, I think this book would quickly put those fears to rest. If he chooses to run, he will have my vote in the Kasas Democratic caucus.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoirs
I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher through a Goodreads Giveaway. I enjoyed Shortest Way Home quite a bit. I live in South Bend and I have voted for Mayor Pete. He has been an outstanding mayor. It was interesting reading his take on events that I remember, and his explanations for decisions he made which varied in popularity locally. His memoir is intended to introduce him to a wider audience than just those of us who live in city. I hope it finds the wide audience it deserve ...more
Since beginning Buttigieg's book, I have travelled across the country and spoken with lots of folks outside of my usual cabal. Nearly everyone I spoke with had heard of Buttigieg, current Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, running for President as a Democratic candidate. Only one of the people I spoke with mentioned his homosexuality as a reason for his possible failure to connect, and the same person was also skeptical about his age.

Buttigieg himself would remind voters that his age has been the th
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pete Buttigieg, who at the age of 37 is finishing up his second term as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is one of a huge number of Democrats running for president in 2020. Shortest Way Home is the book he wrote to introduce himself to America (a recent poll ranked him third after Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders). Well, what can I say? I like Pete. He’s smart, sane, steady, thoughtful, down to earth, and starting to catch on with American voters. What else can I say? He has chutzpah. Imagine running f ...more
Richard Derus
Pearl Ruled (p157)

Buttigieg had a dull, ordinary childhood in a dull, dying flyover-country town that nobody much has heard of. His fancy-pants parents, liberal college professors at Notre Dame, gave him all the love and attention any kid could ask for; his friends and he did the usual kid things; he was a high flyer from teenage on in everyone's eyes. He's succeeded at being the kind of politician that should be the norm not the exception: Focused on results, compromising what he can to get wha
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buttigieg is really impressive. He's super sharp, has great politics, and seems like a great leader. Do I want him to be the next president? No. Not because he's too young. I don't care about that. It's because he reminds me of the smart Obama guys who were really great speechwriters, great with stats, and with crazy impressive resume, but who relate more to the elite in the corridors of power than anyone else. Buttigieg is a midwesterner and does seem to get some of the complexity of former man ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 2020 US presidential election might just be our most important one ever and I want to be as informed as possible about all of the candidates before casting my vote next May. My choice thus far is Bernie, but I plan to vote for whomever I think has the best chance of defeating trump. Some of the candidates I didn't previously know much about, and Pete Buttigieg is one of them.

First things first: How the hell do you pronounce his surname??! If you aren't sure either (I read my news, not watch
H.M. Ada
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Everyone that I talk to about this candidate asks the same question: is America ready? But that’s not the right question. The right question is, “What can each of us do between now and November 2020 to open people’s minds so that America is ready?”

First, the book. I wish I could say to read this book to see why America needs Mayor Pete to be President Pete, but you don’t need to – just listen to him talk for five minutes in any of his recent speeches or town halls. I wish also that I could say t
Connie G
Pete Buttigieg has an impressive background--Harvard, a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and a management consultant at McKinsey. He's fluent in several languages including Arabic. With many avenues open to him, he chose a career in public service. At age 29, he was elected mayor of his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. He also served as a Navy lieutenant in intelligence in Afghanistan. Buttigieg came out as gay in the middle of a campaign for his second term as mayor, and won the election in a conserva ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, usa
Yes, this is now published in German, because people over here are digging this mayor of a town they've never heard of - the headlines he makes remind me of the enthusiasm for a certain senator from Illinois. Mayor Pete - multilingual Harvard and Oxford grad, former business consultant and piano-playing Afghanistan vet - is undoubtedly highly qualified for a career in politics, but the positive reactions he evokes are rooted in his ability to represent what America could be if it tried to live u ...more
Emily Cyr
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best, most thoughtful political memoir/biography (?) I have read yet. There’s a sense of authenticity, dorkiness and optimism one would hope to see in a mayor. And the part about his husband is so sweet at the end, felt like a bonus!
I am ALL IN for Mayor Pete. In the last several weeks he has surged to the top of my candidate list in the 2020 primary. Sure, that could change between now and the election, but right now I am so impressed with everything I am hearing from and about him. And this book only served to reinforce the positive impression I have of him so far.

This memoir tells us a bit about Mayor Pete's life before politics, but it's mostly about his time as mayor--which includes his service in Afghanistan, coming o
Outside the Obama rally at Concord High School 2016

I first REALLY heard of Mayor Pete when he joined President Obama at Concord High School in Elkhart, Indiana in 2016. My wife and I went to hear the President speak about the economic gains that happened during his time in office - specifically the gains in our area. Elkhart (which has a primary industry focus of RVs) was hit hard during the recession, and he stopped here when first elected to let us know we weren't simply "flyover country" and that he would be working for us as well. He came ba
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced “boot-edge-edge”) is just five days younger than our youngest son. If that doesn’t make me feel old, I don’t know what would. But I think he makes up for lack of years in genuine smarts and concrete executive experience. (Mayors and Presidents are both considered executives in their separate domains.) His memoir is engaging and kept me interested every moment.

Buttigieg (I *will* learn to spell this) obviously puts his best foot forward with his stories of life in
Ross Blocher
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pete Buttigieg (BOOT-edge-edge) has quickly become my favorite candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential race: he's composed, positive, practical, honest, compassionate, and whip-smart. He raises the level of any conversation he's involved in. Having subsisted for days on a steady diet of various interview clips online, I figured I ought to read his book. Political memoir is not my category, but Shortest Way Home didn't disappoint. I feel I now know (and like) Buttigieg even better. Seeing that he ...more
Robert Stevens
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a transplant to Indiana after my first 22 years of life in Ohio, a lover of South Bend from my multiple trips there, a political junkie, and a Progressive Democrat, I had to read Mayor Pete Buttigieg's book: "Shortest Way Home." This book matters because the Midwest matters ("I wish it had not required a victory by Donald Trump for the political class to renew its interest in the industrial Midwest). This book matters because the story of South Bend needs to be heard and the progress that ...more
“There is nothing necessarily wrong with greatness, as an aspiration, a theme, or even as the basis of a political program. The problem, politically, is that we keep looking for greatness in all the wrong places. We think we can find it in the past, dredged up for some impossible “again,” when in reality is is available only to those who fix their vision on the future. Or we think it is to be found in some grand national or international adventure, when the most meaningful expressions of America ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would be wonderful to live in a country where Mayor Pete (of South Bend, Indiana) could be elected President. He is smart, sincere, dedicated, diligent, caring, and truly interested in making things better for all his constituents. Growing up in an academic Midwest family, he graduated from Harvard, became a Rhodes Scholar (with a prestigious First from Oxford), worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. before moving into politics: first, in a unsuccessful bid for Indiana State Treasurer, then ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My unapologetically enthusiastic and politically biased opinion

Oh, Mayor Pete--you're totally my current political crush in the 2020 primary!

So, yeah, Shortest Way Home is no Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, but it's damn close! And I had the same reaction to that book that I did to this one--"This dude's gonna be POTUS someday!"
public support
It might not be this time around (I sure as hell hope it is!), but Mayor Pete's turn is coming. Since he's only in his 30s, there's plenty of time
Eric Brotheridge
I was a pastor in South Bend during Mayor Pete's first term. One could see what needed to be transformed and one could see what already was transformed. The change of the city toward greatness is a remarkable story told by an even more remarkable human being with a story to tell from the leading edge of progress. An educated read. Nuanced. How often do you hear/read the following reflection on the current immigration debate?

"As I got ready to leave, a volunteer came up to me in the hall of the s
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, I'm a fan of Mayor Pete. I think he's an uncommonly sharp, soulful, and self-aware public figure who has a bright future ahead of him. (Personally-speaking, that future can't come fast enough.)

That aside, this was a great read. It's a straightforward, nimble, and insightful accounting of his 37 years on this planet, from his childhood in South Bend all the way up to the post-2016 moment that led to his spirited, though unsuccessful, bid to become DNC chair in 2017.

It expresses a clea
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buttigieg first came on my radar a few months ago when my very-politically engaged teen breathlessly told me that he had picked PB as his 2020 candidate. I dismissed the possibility and wrote it off to youthful ignorance (midsized-city gay mayor who no one had heard of??), but after watching his Town Hall, I bought the hardcover for my son and downloaded the audible version for myself. I thought, at the very least, it would be great insight into how PB's brain worked, as well as hearing some of ...more
i can see why a lot of people disliked buttigieg as a candidate for the 2020 elections. since the moment he was considered by some "the embodiment of white privilege" something told me he wasn't really going to have much opportunity against his rivals. predictably, he dropped out of the presidential race, therefore, he did not have the chance to show us what he could have done for america.

as i said, i understand people's complaints but that doesn't mean i necessarily agree with them. yes, he
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Pete Buttigieg, born in Indiana in 1982, is currently serving his second term as mayor of South Bend. A dynamic national lecturer and TEDx speaker, as well as a Rhodes Scholar and Navy veteran, Buttigieg was educated at Harvard and Oxford. He and his husband, Chasten Glezman, live in South Bend, Indiana.

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