Karenna Gore Schiff, daughter of Al Gore, spoke this afternoon at the Rye Free Reading Room to promote her book, Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Shaped Modern America, that was published last year by Miramax. Gore Schiff spoke about a few of the women in the book including Mother Jones, read an excerpt from the book and took questions from the packed house of 150+ Rye residents.
Gore Schiff said her grandmother was an early heroine of hers and recounted a "favorite" family political story of her grandfather Al Gore Senior’s run against incumbent Kenneth McKellar for Senate in 1952.
McKellar’s reelection slogan – painted on barns and highway signs across Tennessee – was "Thinking Feller? Vote McKellar". Gore Schiff’s grandmother Pauline LaFon Gore was responsible for the Gore response which appeared beneath the McKellar slogan: "Think Some More – Vote for Gore". Gore defeated McKellar for the Democratic nomination and went on to serve three terms in the US Senate.
Karenna Gore Schiff said her family read Rachael Carson (author of Silent Sprint, a groundbreaking environmental work) to her as a child and Carson was considered for inclusion in the book, but ultimately a criteria was to include less well known women so Carson was dropped. If the book has included a tenth woman, it would have been Florence Kelly.
Gore Schiff stayed after the reading for a book signing.