It’s hard to know whether or not the fact Antonia Felix’s “Elizabeth Warren: Her Fight. Her Work. Her Life,” reads like a young adult version of a more complex and mature text is a good or a bad thing. It’s comforting that the inspiring life of such a brilliant woman could be considered accessible for anyone to take in, and, certainly, hers is a story that everyone should read now at the peak of her political predominance. However, with such a motivational figure as Elizabeth Warren, it’s a shame the book is not as nuanced as its subject.
As has long been the case with books released by or about people whose influence continues to build in the public eye, Felix’s biography feels rushed in an attempt to keep up with Warren’s increasing relevance. The book feels complete, as each essential milestone appears to have been addressed, but many are brushed over in the interest of moving the book along, ignoring many deeper trails along the way that would have further illuminated aspects of Warren’s life that Felix has had the fortune to have at her disposal.
In Felix’s book, the obstacles of women in education, economics, and politics are explored but rarely elaborated, in a similar treatment to the idea of race, promised to be a significant part of Elizabeth’s life story in the prologue but seldom touched upon throughout the following pages. The groundbreaking studies on bankruptcy Warren devoted much of her life to are explained thoroughly and patiently so that their impact on Warren’s life can be understood, but Felix moves on before fully unpacking her work that turned the supposedly stable middle-class upside down.
However, despite these shortcomings that might one day exclude the book from becoming the seminal text on Warren, the easily accessible narrative and concepts might be the book’s greatest lasting asset. Younger readers exposed to this book will not only receive a remarkable opportunity to be exposed to politics and learn the extraordinary story of Elizabeth Warren but also learn that people are fighting for them and, regardless of who they are, they can fight for what they believe in as well. Elizabeth would shake young girls’ hands on the campaign trail and say, “I’m Elizabeth. I’m running for the Senate because that’s what girls do.”
It’s entirely possible the book will lose its relevance in a couple of years as Warren’s achievements begin to surpass those explored in between the book’s overly-ambitious prologue and its somewhat hesitant conclusion. However, for right now, Elizabeth Warren’s story is one that everyone needs to hear as soon as possible because, if there is one thing to take away from the biography, it is far from over.