SILVIO, CONGRESSMAN FOR EVERYONE
A Biographical Portrait of Silvio O. Conte
By Peter E. Lynch
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Every now and then someone with special qualities comes along and touches the lives of many people. Such a person was Congressman Silvio O. Conte who represented Western Massachusetts from 1959 until 1991. His service was marked by a rare combination of humanity, passion and humor. He gracefully bridged the gap between Washington’s Beltway and the small towns and cities of the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts. Although always a member of the minority party, his hard work and ability to compromise allowed him to be a designer and strong supporter of many programs to improve education, environment, medical research and infrastructure. Despite long service in the Republican leadership and its many responsibilities in Washington, Silvio Conte managed to build a strong personal connection with his constituents. He was deeply loved and admired by those whom he represented. This book is a brief portrait to give the reader a little of the flavor of this great American political figure who brought to life the Founding Fathers’ goal of giving good representation to the people.
Peter E. Lynch is a graduate of Brown University and a career railroader who worked with Congressman Conte on a railroad rehabilitation project.
“Sil Conte epitomized the soul of Congressional politics--loud, boisterous, intense, tough and just plain fun.” —Former U.S. Representative Bob Livingston (R - LA), Former Chairman, House Appropriations Committee
“A leader among leaders whose humor literally lit up the House of Representatives. Sil brought passion, diligence and a sense of joy to the battlefield of politics and essentially got the result he sought. Sil’s bipartisan, jovial spirit is sorely missed today in the halls of Congress.” —Former Congressman Joseph Moakley, Massachusetts
“Silvio became one of my best friends as we served over thirty years together in the Congress. This book beautifully chronicles his life and works and demonstrates what joy there can be in serving one’s constituents and one’s country.” —Former Republican House Leader Robert H. Michel
“With this book, Pete Lynch joins the chroniclers of great Americans. He has captured the warmth, wit, and political savvy of Silvio Conte, with whom I was privileged to serve in the House of Representatives. This book is a delight and deserves a wide audience.” —Former Connecticut Representative Nancy L. Johnson
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