If You Live by the Sword

Reviews, News Stories & Letters

FHS Graduate  Writes Political Memoirs
Lewistown News-Argus | March 23, 2011 

Pittsburgh Magazine Calls IF YOU LIVE BY THE SWORD "Compelling" that Reads like a "Tragicomic Novel"
September 2010 Issue

Tribune Great Falls
Tom Kotynski
April 18, 2010


"Dr. Lawrence Pettit has proven that sometimes truth is more fascinating than fiction.His truthful, first-hand account of life in politics and academia is a powerful account of the people, events and policy-making that touch us all. His “read to believe” stories of political and academic life provide a rare window through which modern politics and higher education can be better viewed and understood. They are stories from which we can all learn a great deal."

Tom Daschle, Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, April 17, 2007

"The IUP chapters should be required reading for anyone who aspires to be Chancellor of the SSHE, a President of any public university, an administrator at IUP, or a faculty union leader. There are unpleasant but crucial truths of the structure, conduct and performance of the PaSSHE that you present clearly, that are not available anywhere else. Beyond that, your life story is interesting on many levels spanning four states that are quite different from each other. I am glad that I decided to read the entire book... I want to thank you for writing this book. Since you left PaSSHE has become more Soviet. The process to transform IUP into a branch campus of a giant community college run out of Harrisburg has accelerated since your departure. Your book expalins much of what happened and what is happening at IUP." 

Willard W. Radell
Professor, Department of Economics, Indiana University of Pennsylvania June 17, 2010 

“Tonight I completed reading your book, If You Live by the Sword.  It is a wonderful and very meaningful book.  Additionally, it is well written and captivating.  Once I started reading it, I did not want to stop… I cannot write with any authority concerning your record in Texas, Illinois or Pennsylvania.  Yet…I do hold an opinion about your time in Montana as Commissioner of Higher Education.  From my point of view, you had a gargantuan job to do, and you did it.  In other words, you created whole cloth out of many patches, and higher education in Montana is a sound system.  That can only be attributed to the foundation you laid and the house you built. Another person with a fainter heart would have crumbled under the pressure that you endured…”

John C. Board, retired president of the Montana Education Association, June 20, 2010

Dr. Pettit’s Earlier Books

Henry S. Albinski and Lawrence K. Pettit
European Political Processes: Essays and Readings
(1st ed)

Allyn and Bacon, 1968

Lawrence K. Pettit and Edward Keynes
The Legislative Process in the U.S. Senate
Rand McNally, 1969

Samuel A. Kirkpatrick and Lawrence K. Pettit
The Social Psychology of Political Life
Duxbury Press, 1972

July 14, 2011


E-book available for Kindle, Nook and iPad!

Libraries and book stores can order copies of the book directly from www.iuniverse.com.   Readers may order through your favorite book store, or online through either Amazon, or barnes and noble

Hard cover, ISBN 978-1-4502-0839-0; Soft cover, ISBN 978-1-4502-0838-3; Ebook,  ISBN 978-1-4502-0840-6

This book is also available in PDF ebook format, requiring the reader to install Adobe software.  The ebook version can be ordered directly from iUniverse (a link appears on this website).  Of, if you Google the book by full title, you will encounter many notations, including a number of ebook vendors who carry this title.  Among them are these three:

www.diesel-ebooks.com,www.ereadable.com, and www.ebookshop.com.

Indiana Gazette
Sam Kusic
June 27, 2010

Politics, Education Converge in Pettit Memoir 
April 17, 2010


The Montanan (University of Montana Magazine), Spring 2011

Lawrence K. Pettit ’59, Helena, published a memoir, If You Live by the Sword: Politics in the Making and Unmaking of a University President. Pittsburgh Magazine says the book is compelling and “reads like [a] tragicomic novel.” Born in Lewistown, Larry became a professor, political insider, and top administrator at institutions in the Montana University System and Indiana University of Pennsylvania...

IUP Magazine (Indiana University of PA), Summer, 2010, image of the book cover with short caption. 

The Magazine of Sigma Chi, Fall, 2010, “Known for his expertise in politics and higher education, Pettit, a Significant Sig, has authored this memoir about his experiences in his dual careers.  The narrative recounts battles with governors, state system boards, faculty unions and rogue members of Pettit’s own boards.” 

Washington Magazine (Washington University in St. Louis), October 2010, “Lawrence K. Pettit, GR 62, published If You Live by the Sword: Politics in the Making and Unmaking of a University President(iUniverse 2010).  The book recounts a tumultuous career in mixing a high political profile with university leadership in Montana, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania.  The political side of Pettit’s dual career includes serving on the staffs of two U.S. Senators; his roles as campaign manager, head of transition, and senior staff to a governor; and an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1980 primary election…”

Subpages (2): Contents Index