Lioness of Idaho: Louise Shadduck and the Power of Polite [Review]

Lioness of Idaho by Mike Bullard


Lioness of Idaho: Louise Shadduck and the Power of Polite

Mike Bullard

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: The Samuel Dow

ISBN: 978-0989344104, paperback

239 pages, $19.95

Reviewed by Gabrielle Gardner

As soon as I started reading Lioness of Idaho: Louise Shadduck and the Power of Polite by Mike Bullard, I immediately knew that this book deserves to be in both school and public libraries. There are many reasons as to why I think that, but there is one simple reason: people need to know more about Louise Shadduck.

Shakespeare once said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” This statement sums up the life of Louise Shadduck. She was born with simple beginnings; she was not a woman to put on airs or forget her small town roots. Indeed, her love of Idaho and its people was the primary reason why she did what she did. Mike Bullard tells her life story extremely well.

She was loved by all who knew her—both Democrats and Republicans. Louis was a woman who put politics aside for the sake of getting things done. In today’s world and especially just after an election, this is a message that many people need to hear. Sometimes, it is better to care about what is good for the many rather than what is good for an “agenda.”

Lioness of Idaho follows both the personal and private life of Ms. Shadduck. It spans her life from being one of the first women to work in the Idaho Statehouse to taking her causes to a more national stage. When I contemplated what tidbits to share from Bullard’s book, I was inspired by two quotes in the book. But what makes them very amazing is that these words were what other individuals said about her. That was just the kind of person Louise Shadduck was—caring more about others than about herself.

“Louise believed that the people of the state are the best advertisement of all and their welcoming attitude could improve the economy without it costing the government a dime. Being good hosts and hostesses was both the right thing to do and the thing that would put money in Idaho’s pockets.”

The following statement about Louise Shadduck puts her life into perspective. It says everything about an amazing woman who took the high road in an admittedly backstabbing political arena. Yet the status quo or societal expectations did not define her or her mission. Rather, “In what is often termed a man’s world you have demonstrated that a woman with ability can not only compete successfully but can do so without compromising charm, graciousness, a sense of humor or perspective.”

This is a role model young Idahoans should look to. What better way than by having this book available to the general public, whether in academic, school, or public libraries.

Gabrielle Gardner is the Programming Assistant for Children’s Services at the Meridian Library District.


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