NPR

In 'We're Better Than This,' Rep. Elijah Cummings Offers Some Lasting Thoughts

The former congressman's memoir is an urgent call to action, imploring us to defend our democracy as it is assailed by threats — and a poignant reminder of how much the nation lost with his death.
Politician and Maryland congressional representative Elijah Cummings at his campaign headquarters, 1988. Source: Afro Newspaper/Gado

Like the man at its center, We're Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy is impressive on multiple levels.

It is a compelling memoir, highlighting some of the formative experiences that shaped Elijah Cummings, a son of sharecroppers who would go on to become one of the most influential members of Congress. It is an urgent call to action, imploring us to defend our democracy as it is assailed by threats internal and external. And, perhaps above all, it is a poignant reminder of just how much the nation lost with his death.

Arguably one of the hardest

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