A Will to Serve: Stories of Patience, Persistence, and Friends Made Along the Way

A Will to Serve: Stories of Patience, Persistence, and Friends Made Along the Way

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The autobiography of an indefatigable visionary and citizen activist

Jim Ellis was one of the most influential and impactful civic leaders of Seattle’s and Washington’s recent history. Though he never sought elected office, his vision and drive were a key force behind many major projects defining our city, county, and region from the 1950s through today. From cleaning up Lake Washington, establishing King County Metro, and implementing the broad array of community-centered Forward Thrust improvement initiatives, to forward-thinking regional projects like the Mountains to Sound Greenway and the Washington State Convention Center, Ellis was astute at bringing together leaders across political divides to create consensus and effect change.

A Will to Serve is a story about the interconnectivity of Ellis’s personal and civic lives. It’s about individual people--family, friends, neighbors, colleagues--their shared challenges, and how they worked together for regional progress. The book provides insight into a tumultuous and dynamic period of our regional history and a window into the value of patience, persistence, and vision.

Ellis kept notes on his life, projects, and experiences and built a deep portfolio of public speeches. He drew from these to shape his detailed and engaging autobiography. A Will to Serve, in Ellis’s own words, is introduced and framed by former secretary of the interior and Jim Ellis mentee Sally Jewell. Several key accomplishments of his later life are presented by historian Jennifer Ott. It closes with an afterword by former Washington governor Gary Locke.



Jim Ellis (1921-2019) was a citizen activist for more than half a century. Jennifer Ott is an environmental historian and assistant director of HistoryLink. Sally Jewell is chair of the EarthLab Advisory Council at the University of Washington and former US secretary of the interior. Gary Locke is acting president of Bellevue College, former US secretary of commerce, and former governor of Washington State.



  • ISBN:9781933245706
  • 規格:精裝 / 416頁 / 22.86 x 15.24 cm / 普通級 / 初版
  • 出版地:美國




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