Recently discovered in the archives of the Dirksen Congressional Center, this is the memoir Senator Dirksen was writing at the time of his death in 1969 — and his gravel-voiced warmth and wisdom come through on every page. Covering the years of his boyhood through his election to the Senate in 1950, it reveals the foundation of a great public servant in the making. In a world where the political scene is wall-to-wall scandal, the honesty, faith, and devotion to hard work revealed by this memoir give the lie to Mark Twain's cynical statement, It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. Dirksen's insights into his early life and development are a treasure with riches for all readers. They might even prove instructive to those in today's halls of power.