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Hearts Touched with Fire: My 500 Most Inspirational Quotations    by Elizabeth Dole order for
Hearts Touched with Fire
by Elizabeth Dole
Order:  USA  Can
Carroll & Graf, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Hearts Touched with Fire is a treasure of a small (195 pages) book. Along with a brief advisory on effective public speaking and details of her own background, Senator Dole shares 500 of her favorite quotations from poets, leaders, actors, activists, and others in varied 'walks of life', spanning generations.

Sections include 'Soldiers and Veterans', 'Education and Teachers', 'Women', and 'Youth and the Future'. Under each heading, the author addresses specific incidents relating to the quotations that follow. I found one under 'Aging' endearing. It's described by 92-year-'young' Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.. During a visit by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at his hospital bedside, Justice Holmes was asked, '"What are you doing, Oliver?" "Reading," answered Holmes. "I can see that," said FDR, "but why are you reading a Greek Primer?" Holmes answered, "Why, Mr. President, to improve my mind".' Under 'Freedom and Democracy' Dole mentions her trip to Poland in 1989, during the country's fight for freedom ... 'During our walk, Solidarity union leader Lech Walesa told me that his definition of a Communist economic enterprise was "one hundred workers standing around a single shovel. What Poland needs now," he explained, "is one hundred shovels".'

Within Dole's collection, these quotations touched a fire in my own heart: 'The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever.' (Louis L'Amour); 'I touch the future. I teach.' (New Hampshire educator and astronaut - Christa McAuliffe); 'Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.' (Martin Luther King, Jr.); 'God does not call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful.' (Mother Teresa); 'A child needs your love most when he or she deserves it least.' (Erma Bombeck). Especially stirring are these words of Maya Angelou, 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

Elizabeth Dole, one of the most admired and influential women in American politics, is sought after as an inspiring public speaker. Dole has served as Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Labor, President of the American Red Cross, co-campaigner for Republican presidential nominee/spouse Bob Dole, presidential candidate in her own right, and presently, the first female elected Senator from North Carolina. I recommend Hearts Touched with Fire to anyone who enjoys quotations.

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