My friend and colleague Mitch Pearlstein has written a perceptive and evocative biography of 85-year-old Al Quie, former governor of Minnesota and for many years the leading Republic education policy maker in the U.S. House of Representatives. (He also served on the National Commission on Excellence in Education, source of "A Nation At Risk" in 1983.) Actually, this 300 page volume is more Al's autobiography "as told to" Mitch, and it's interesting on many levels, education policy being just one of them. Quie is a unique and memorable figure, deeply devout, multi-faceted, a lover of horses and the outdoors as much as wise government and other people's children. His take on education, the primacy of parents, and the limits of government is well worth understanding, perhaps especially as Quie and Pearlstein discuss its application to early-childhood education (chapter 12). You can learn more about the book here, here, or here. And you can find my own (five year old) reflections on Al Quie's work in education here.