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Rough Edges: My Unlikely Road from Welfare to Washington

James Rogan was born to a single mother cocktail waitress who later raised her four children on welfare and food stamps, and who ended up as a convicted felon. His bartender father abandoned his mother and him before his birth. Despite growing up in San Francisco's hardscrabble Mission District, he became a political and history aficionado as a young boy, and he once convinced former President Harry S Truman to help him with his homework. But Rogan traveled in a tough circle of friends, and after years of borderline delinquency, he ended up expelled from high school. After that, he worked at a variety of low-end jobs, from porn theater bouncer to bartender at both a Hollywood Sunset Strip female mud wrestling bar and a Hell's Angels hangout. He scrapped his way through college and law school, and then he worked as a gang murder prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. Later, he became a state court judge, the majority leader of the California State Assembly, and a United States congressman from Southern California. In 1998, as a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, his colleagues selected him to help lead the impeachment and prosecution of President Bill Clinton. Rough Edges is a rarity among Washington tales. It is full of outrageous stories, wild humor, pull-no-punches candor, and downright fun. Told in Rogan's engaging and frank voice, his story is certainly the most freewheeling-and the most honest-political memoir ever written.