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Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello

Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello

Reflections on Twenty-Two Years in the Illinois Senate

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Philip J. Rock, with Ed Wojcicki


E-book (Other formats: Hardcover)
18 illustrations


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“There is wit and wisdom in this story. And the reader is presented with the remarkable making of a remarkable man. Phil Rock is too self-effacing for such praise, but the pages of Nobody Calls Just to say Hello embodies that formula of character that make Phil’s years in the Illinois Senate a powerful exercise in human success. His stories brim with insight and sometimes never-before-told history.”—Alderman Edward M. Burke

“Phil Rock is a compassionate leader with guts, smarts, and savvy who knows when to hold them and when to fold them. Now you can see how and why he enriched public service in Illinois in this marvelous new political biography—almost a political thriller!”—Jim Thompson, governor of Illinois from 1977 to 1991

 “Phil Rock has always combined high degrees of integrity and political savvy.  In this fascinating book, Phil takes the reader inside the process of hammering out major public policies in Illinois during the 1970s through 1990s, providing lessons about both politics and life.”—James D. Nowlan, coauthor of Illinois Politics: A Citizen’s Guide

“Rock’s time in the Senate is proof that a legislative leader can adopt a problem-solving outlook, rather than exclusively pursue partisan advantage, and still be enormously successful. That outlook is so lacking in current leaders that readers need to be reminded that there were times when self-promotion and self-preservation were not the primary motives driving the actions of legislative leaders. This work will make an invaluable contribution to understanding politics in Illinois, and is extremely important for those interested in understanding what real political leadership is all about.”—Paul Kleppner, author of Chicago Divided: The Making of a Black Mayor

“Rock provides plenty of detail about his twenty-two years in the Senate, his rise in the Cook County and Illinois Democratic Party organizations and his public service philosophy. . . . Sprinkled throughout are enough anecdotes to make readers reminisce over the antics of such colorful senators as John Knuppel of Petersburg, Sam Vadalabene of Edwardsville, and Charles Chew of Chicago. Whether it was Knuppel voting for Winnie the Pooh during the 186-ballot contest for Senate president in 1977, feisty Vadalabene landing a right jab to a Republican senator in 1981, or Chew spouting in 1976 that passage of the Equal Rights Amendment would mean the sexes would have to share bathrooms, Rock reminds us that sometimes politics is more entertaining than late-night comedians can script. . . . Words that all can appreciate for their eloquence appear in a few excerpts from Rock’s floor speeches. Those speeches remind readers why the Senate chamber would quiet when he rose to speak.”Illinois Times
“It would do us well to heed some of Rock’s words from his book. . . . [It] is worth a read if you’re interested in how things really get done in Springfield, or at least how they were done.”Rockford Register Star
“Particularly for people who are familiar with the players in state government, this book is fun and enlightening.”State Journal-Register