The Girl in the Yellow Pantsuit: Essays on Politics, History, and Culture

The Girl in the Yellow Pantsuit collects the best-loved of Becca Balint’s weekly columns on politics, history, and culture. Becca’s curiosity, humor, and deep affection for her subjects provide readers with new ways of examining trenchant problems. Her clear-eyed perspectives on subjects as wide-ranging as American politics, global affairs, education policy, and parenthood challenge us to think more deeply about our own place in the world and the impact we want to leave.

Balint has chosen to organize her columns around the core values that she believes are essential to good leadership. In her introduction, she writes, “The spirit of our work matters. Our daily interactions with others matter. Intentionally living our values cannot be an afterthought—it must be a central part of our work. Our leadership comes from within and is shown to others not just in times of crisis and uncertainty but day in and day out in the way we treat colleagues and neighbors.”  Balint suggests that “being audacious, daring, and vulnerable is an essential part of inviting others to create a vision of a better world that works for all of us and to join the effort to build it.”

Advance Praise

“I’ve just finished reading an advance copy of Becca Balint’s forthcoming collection of essays, The Girl in the Yellow Pantsuit. I had no idea what to expect from this gifted Vermont politician. The quality of most essay anthologies wobbles back and forth like a drunken emu, but Balint’s collection engaged me immediately and I read the entire collection in two sittings—just finishing one essay and eager to start another while still contemplating the first. Balint is a completely engaging writer, imbuing her topics with human connection and crystalline intellect. One essay, ‘Building Character,’ starts on a camping trip with her children in bear-inhabited Vermont woods and goes on to explore Dr. Martin Seligman’s landmark work on how to imbue character and resilience in our children, a topic deeply relevant today. All told, this collection is a must-read. Go to your local bookstore and buy a copy. Savor it as you would your favorite poetry or prayers for humanity.”

Bill Schubart, author of Lila &Theron

“The only way we can truly know someone is if they’re brave enough to show us their vulnerability. Here, Becca Balint presents an unvarnished glimpse into the questions she asks—of herself and of our world—and she inspires us to dig deep, ask questions, and be vulnerable ourselves. With these essays Balint thoughtfully engages with the biggest issues of our time, drawing on a powerful combination of rigorous research and keen emotional intelligence. Never taking the easy, cynical route, she shows us what’s possible if we’re willing to pay attention. A rare political book from a rare political leader.”

Ann Braden, author of The Benefits of Being an Octopus and Flight of the Puffin

The Girl in the Yellow Pantsuit is a miracle of emotional intelligence. The collection draws on a wealth of scholarly and historical influences—from cutting-edge neuroscience to biography to politics—but it is Becca Balint’s own deep, authentic sympathy with the human condition that renders it unforgettable. Again and again, she picks up some seemingly insoluble social or interpersonal problem, turns it over carefully in her hands, and leaves the reader looking at it afresh. Always the emphasis is on returning to the work of understanding, and that doggedness is inspiring in its own right. So this is very much a thinking person’s book, yes, but if your heart doesn’t break just a little while reading some of these short essays— ‘Girl in the Yellow Pantsuit’ or ‘Expanding the Story’ or ‘Stigma’s Wrath’ —then you haven’t got a heart to break.”

Philip Baruth, author of Senator Leahy: A Life in Scenes and The Brothers Boswell

“Becca Balint may be America’s sanest living politician. In this collection of columns, we get to laugh and learn from a woman who isn’t afraid of admitting mistakes. Who leads with humility and courage. Who lets us see her for the entirety of who she is—and then sees us right back.” 

Amanda Ripley, journalist & New York Times bestselling author

“If you want to know more about who Becca Balint is, read her book, The Girl in the Yellow Pantsuit. In a series of essays first published over several years in the Brattleboro Reformer, she shares her thoughts on politics, culture, and aspects of her own life. She is an interesting and clear thinker who opens new doors for the reader.” 

Governor Madeleine M. Kunin, author of Coming of Age, My Journey to the Eighties

About the Author

Becca Balint is a stateswoman, current candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, and President Pro Tempore of the Vermont Senate. After two decades of teaching history and civics to middle-schoolers and community college students, Becca won her debut race for state senate in 2014. She has been elected four times despite primary challenges in every race. In 2018, she was elected by the Senate Democratic caucus to serve as majority leader and in 2020 she was unanimously elected by the entire Senate to serve as President Pro Tempore. Becca is an avid outdoorswoman and motorcyclist. She lives in Brattleboro Vermont, with her wife, two wise-cracking kids, and an incorrigible labradoodle. 

Author photos: Maria French Photography



286 pages; 6 x 9 / Softcover
$19.95 print / $9.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-9505843-7-6  (print)
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
Distributor: IPG / Chicago
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights contact: Dede Cummings
Keywords: Women; politics; history; culture; women’s studies; essays; gay; lesbian; family; Vermont

Distributor: IPG; also available through Ingram, Follett/Baker & Taylor, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can pre-order directly from,, online, or contact your local, independent bookstore (for the Vermont indies, see below).
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order directly through IPG:
Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Order Placement: (800) 888-4741
Via email:

For an advance reader’s copy—digital or print—email
Brattleboro’s own, local, independent bookstore, EVERYONE’S BOOKS, is in charge of the launch events along with other Vermont indie bookstores on the book tour—Becca will sign all books.

Everyone’s Books (Brattleboro):
Northshire Bookstore (Manchester):
Phoenix Books (Burlington/Essex):
Bear Pond Books (Montpelier/Stowe):
Yankee Bookshop (Woodstock):
The Vermont Book Shop (Middlebury):
Next Chapter Bookstore (Barre):
Village Square Booksellers (Bellows Falls):
The Bennington Bookshop (Bennington):
Galaxy Bookshop (Hardwick):
The Norwich Bookstore (Norwich):
Bridgeside Books (Waterbury):
Bartleby’s Bookstore (Wilmington):


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