Ball traces Pelosi’s rise from a childhood in Baltimore, the daughter of Thomas D’Alesandro Jr, a Democratic mayor and former congressman. Pelosi’s politics were shaped by the New Deal, the Depression, the Catholic church and the city’s cacophonous tapestry. Think ethnic reductionism leavened by transactionalism. Good government was not an end in itself. The young Pelosi was privy to the needs of her father’s constituents but also to the frustrations of Annunciata Lombardi D’Alesandro, her immigrant mother. As Ball makes clear, her ambition was thwarted for the sake of family and her husband.