A Fighting Chance Summary & Study Guide

Elizabeth Warren
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A Fighting Chance Summary & Study Guide Description

A Fighting Chance Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren.

A Fighting Chance is a memoir by Elizabeth Warren. Warren began life in a middle-class home in Oklahoma. When Warren’s father had a heart attack and lost his job, her mother had to take a job to support the family. Warren had to fight her parents to go to school and then she had to fight her first husband to continue her education and to hold down a full time job while raising two children. After her divorce, Warren married a good man who supported her career and encouraged her to fight for the things she thought were important. This mission took Elizabeth to Washington, D.C. where she served on two committees before pushing the creation of a new federal agency that would oversee consumer financial products in order to protect consumers from unfair practices like those that contributed to the mortgage crisis. In the end, Warren decided her fight was not over, so she took it into a campaign for the United States Senate. A Fighting Chance is a memoir that not only introduces Elizabeth Warren to those who might know about her, but shows the American middle-class that there is still someone out there fighting for them.

Elizabeth Warren was a late-in-life baby who came into her family after her three older brothers were nearly full grown. When Warren was only twelve, her father had a heart attack. He lost his good paying job and was stuck in a sales job that paid him on commission. As a shy man, this job was not enough to provide for his family. They lost the family car first. They were on the verge of losing their house when Warren’s mother got a job as a phone operator for Sears.

Warren wanted to go to college, but her mother tried to talk her out of it. Warren’s mother felt that she would be better off getting married and becoming a mother. Warren, however, found a way to fund her college education and attended two years at George Washington University before reuniting with a former high school beau and getting married. Jim Warren worked for IBM in Houston. Warren transferred to University of Houston and finished her degree. Warren’s husband received a job transfer and they moved to New Jersey a short time later.

Warren worked a year as a speech therapist, but when she became pregnant, she was not offered a position the following year. Warren was bored staying at home with her child, but suspected her husband would not want her to get another job. Instead, Warren decided to return to school. She decided to go to law school and was accepted to Rutgers. Warren was pregnant with her second child when she graduated Rutgers, making difficult for her to find a job with a law firm. Instead, she was offered a job teaching at Rutgers. A year later, Warren’s husband was again transferred and she was offered a job at the University of Houston.

Warren found it difficult to consolidate her work life and her home life. When things became impossible, Warren’s marriage fell apart. Her aunt, however, agreed to come to Houston to care for her children while she worked. A short time later, Warren convinced her parents to move to Houston, as well. Warren also fell in love for the second time and married fellow law professor, Bruce Mann.

Warren and Mann found it difficult to find jobs at the same university at the same time. For many years, Mann commuted to St. Louis while Warren taught at the University of Texas at Austin. After some time, both Warren and Mann moved to the University of Pennsylvania. After several years there, Warren was offered a job at Harvard. At first Warren did not want to take the job because it would mean separating the family again, but eventually took it because of the prestige and how she could use it to push her theories on bankruptcy.

After taking the job at Harvard, Warren was asked to join a commission to review and make recommendations regarding the current bankruptcy laws. Warren reluctantly accepted this role and worked to help fight the big banks and their attempts to change the bankruptcy laws. They eventually failed to make a difference, but they managed to delay the inevitable.

In 2008, Warren was asked back to Washington to be part of a committee designed to oversee the bank bailout after the mortgage crisis. Again Warren found herself on the wrong side of an issue. She fought to keep the big banks from taking even more from the American people. She succeeded in making sure the American people got back from the big banks most of what they were owed, but again struggled to make real change.

In 2009, Warren had the idea that there should be one agency, with a director who was independently selected without influence from big banks, to oversee all consumer financial products. This agency would protect consumers much as the Consumer Product Safety Commission protected them from defective appliances. It was a long, hard fight, but the agency was eventually signed into law. However, there was a large amount of resistance against appointing Warren the agency director. Warren did set up the agency and get it off the ground, but it was eventually led by another person.

In 2011, Warren was told she should run for the Senate. She hesitated, not sure she was ready for such a big commitment at that point in her life. However, she met constituents who needed someone like her to fight for them. Warren ran for the Senate and won by a large margin.

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This section contains 948 words
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