Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Les AuCoin — “Catch and Release: An Oregon Life in Politics”
In 1974, at the age of thirty-two, Les AuCoin became the first Democrat to win a US
House seat in Oregon’s First District. He was one of the post-Watergate reformers who
shook up an insular, autocratic Congress and led fights for affordable housing, “trickle-up” economics, wilderness protection, abortion rights, and nuclear arms control.
In his new book, AuCoin traces his unlikely rise from a fatherless childhood in Central
Oregon to the top ranks of national power. Then came a painful defeat in one of the most
controversial races in US Senate history, against incumbent Bob Packwood.
A fly fisher, AuCoin uses “catch and release” as a metaphor for succeeding and letting go
of loss with dignity and equanimity.