As a United States senator from Delaware since 1973, Joe Biden has been an intimate witness to the major events of the past four decades and a relentless actor in trying to shape recent American history. He has seen up close the tragic mistake of the Vietnam War, the Watergate and Iran-contra scandals, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a presidential impeachment, a presidential resignation, and a presidential election decided by the Supreme Court. He’s observed Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and two Bushes wrestling with the presidency; he’s traveled to war zones in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and seen firsthand the devastation of genocide. He played a vital role by standing up to Ronald Reagan’s effort to seat Judge Robert Bork on the Supreme Court, fighting for legislation that protects women against domestic violence, and galvanizing America’s response (and the world’s) to Slobodan Milosevic’s genocidal march in the Balkans. In Promises to Keep, Biden reveals what these experiences taught him about himself, his colleagues, and the institutions of government.
With his customary candor, Biden movingly recounts growing up in a staunchly Catholic multigenerational household in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware; overcoming a demoralizing stutter; marriage, fatherhood, and the tragic death of his wife Neilia and infant daughter Naomi; remarriage and re-forming a family with his second wife, Jill; success and failure in the Senate and on the campaign trail; two life-threatening aneurysms; his relations with fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle; and his leadership of powerful Senate committees.
Through these and other recollections, Biden shows us how the guiding principles he learned early in life–the obligation to work to make people’s lives better, to honor family and faith, to get up and do the right thing no matter how hard you’ve been knocked down, to be honest and straightforward, and, above all, to keep your promises–are the foundations on which he has based his life’s work as husband, father, and public servant.
Promises to Keep is the story of a man who faced down personal challenges and tragedy to become one of our most effective leaders. It is also an intimate series of reflections from a public servant who refuses to be cynical about political leadership, and a testament to the promise of the United States.
From the Hardcover edition.
First Son is a true, riveting family saga about extraordinary power and politics in America and in the unharnessed state--a state of mind--called Texas. The story begins with the turn-of-the-century emergence of the influential Bush-Walker clan and of Prescott Bush, the Connecticut patrician who ingrained in his family an ethos that continues to exert influence on his son, former President George Bush, and his grandsons, George W. and Jeb. How these scions of the Bush dynasty struggle to live up to their enduring legacy is the central theme of this colorful and perceptive portrait the first authentative book on the governor of Texas.
In the past year, award-winning Texas writer Bill Minutaglio has met with George W. Bush and interviewed dozens of people close to him, from his brother Governor Jeb Bush of Florida to uncles and cousins, from current and former political advisers to high-ranking insiders from his father's years in the White House. Fraternity buddies, political operatives, George W.'s employers, and even ardent critics of the Bush family bring this story to life--from the society circles in his native Connecticut to the family compound in Maine to the backwaters of his adopted Texas. The result is a book that is nuanced, insightful, and surprising in the contradictions and complexities it reveals about this man.
First Son vividly reconstructs George W. Bush's boarding-school days at one of the country's most exclusive institutions; his tenure in one of Yale's secret societies and as president of his unfettered fraternity; his attempts to follow his family's million-dollar path into the wide-open Texas oil patch; his role in major league baseball as the public face and head cheerleader for the Texas Rangers; and, finally, his rise to governor of Texas and national political force, executed with more hard-edged calculation than many people realize.
Written with precision, verve, and fair-minded balanace, First Son will be the political story of 2000--the eye-opening tale of a natural-born politician.
From the Hardcover edition.
"When I got knocked down by guys bigger than me . . . [my mother] sent me back out and demanded that I bloody their nose so I could walk down the street the next day."—Joe Biden
In this, the first definitive biography of Vice President Joe Biden, renowned journalist Jules Witcover examines the fascinating life of a man who, with his tenacity, outspokenness, and charming smile, has shaped Washington politics for the past forty years and who now serves as the forty-seventh vice president of the United States.
Raised in the working-class towns of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, and with lackluster grades in school and no particular goals other than to play sports or, fleetingly, to become a priest, Biden shocked the nation in 1972 when he became one of the youngest elected senators in U.S. history. From that point forward, he carved a legacy for himself as one of the most respected legislators in the country. Biden's record in Congress was impressive. He chaired three Senate committees, confronted Slobodan Miloševic head-on as a war criminal, and conducted the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court justices. After voting for the 2002 Senate resolution to use force in Iraq, he later called for its repeal and became an outspoken critic of the conduct of the war.
Yet for all of Biden's achievements in the Senate, his life has been filled with tragedy and countless challenges. Within two months of being elected in 1972, Biden lost his wife, Neilia, and his young daughter in a tragic accident—a loss that brought him to the nadir of despair and shook his resolve to stay in politics. And even after Biden vowed to continue his career, his tenure was marked by two brain aneurysms and career-threatening verbal gaffes. Then, after being considered among the front-runners in the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries, Biden was accused of plagiarism for a speech he made at the Iowa State Fair. He dropped out of the race to the sounds of Washington pundits chattering that the presidency would never be his. Through it all, Biden survived and ran—and eventually dropped out—again in the 2008 primaries. But even with this defeat, Barack Obama recognized Biden's vast experience in domestic and foreign affairs, and selected him to be his running mate.
Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption is based on exhaustive research by one of Washington's most prolific journalists. In drawing on numerous exclusive interviews with Biden's confidants and family members, as well as President Obama and Vice President Biden, Witcover has gone beyond conventional biography to track the forces that have shaped a man who, with his plainspoken style and inspiring life story, has resonated with millions of Americans and whose work is now influencing the Obama-Biden administration and shaping America.
Steve Erickson’s provocative reimagining of American history, Arc d’X begins with the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. With “skin . . . too white to be quite black and too black to be quite white,” Sally is loved only to the extent that she can be possessed, and finds hope only in the promise that her children’s lives will be different from her own. The couple’s paradox-riven union echoes through the ages and in an alternate epoch where time plays by other rules. In Aeonopolis, a theocratic city at the foot of a volcano, priests seek to have Sally indicted, and in an emptied-out Berlin, the Wall is being rebuilt. Dizzyingly imaginative, Arc d’X is an unrivaled exploration of “the pursuit of happiness.”
One-Car Caravan is Shapiro's revealing account of the humble roots of the current presidential campaign, and he provides a telling picture of the 2004 Democratic contenders in their metaphorical boxers and briefs. He shows us John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, Howard Dean, and the others with their hair down, their ties askew, and their foibles bared. It's not pretty to watch a candidate who dreams of flying on Air Force One bump his head on a luggage bin on a small commuter jet, but it can be pretty funny.
Who's ready for the oval office?
They call it a horse race, and in this election the candidates got out of the gate early. But it's still hard to tell them apart and make a choice. Mark Halperin, veteran reporter and political analyst, sizes up the White House hopefuls with intelligence, insight, and his trademark wit, offering engaging, in-depth examinations of the histories, qualifications, agendas, and personal beliefs of the major candidates—including Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson, as well as some "dark horse" contenders.
Among the features in this book:
- Issue-by-issue charts defining where each candidate stands on the war in Iraq, health care, taxes, the economy, and other significant points of debate.
- An assessment of each candidate's strengths and weaknesses.
- A hypothetical glimpse into the future of each candidate's potential presidency.
- Areas of possible controversy that could spark heated discussion and affect the outcome of the race.
- Personal facts and anecdotes about each candidate—including exclusive Q&As covering everything from their junk food weaknesses to their biggest superstitions.
Having devoted a career that spans fifty years to consulting with and studying professional firms in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, author Charles Ellis learned firsthand how difficult it is for an organization to go beyond very good and attain, as well as sustain, excellence. Now, he shares his hard-won insights with you and reveals "what it takes" to be best-in-class in any industry.
Enlightening and entertaining, What It Takes explores firms that are leaders in their particular field and the superior people who create and maintain them. Along the way, it identifies the secrets of their long-term success and reveals exactly how they can put your organization in a better position to excel when properly executed.
- Contains many stories of achieving excellence, and addresses the obstacles that top-ranking organizations face in sustaining it
- Includes insights on leaders in their particular field—from McKinsey & Company in consulting and Cravath, Swaine & Moore in law to the Mayo Clinic in healthcare
- Written by one of the most experienced and respected business consultants/advisors of our time
What It Takes skillfully shows you how innovation and a commitment to excellence can drive success, while also revealing how easy it is to fall behind. With it, you'll discover what separates the great firms from the good ones and learn how to attain, and maintain, organizational success throughout the years.