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Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 5, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061791989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061791987
  • ASIN: B0058M5JHO
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,016,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After a meteoric start in politics in 1972, as one of the youngest elected senators in U.S. history, Biden survived personal tragedy (the death of his wife and daughter and, later, life-threatening brain aneurysms) to carve a career as the liberal senator from Delaware. His promising bid for the Democratic presidential candidacy in 1988 ended ignominiously with charges of plagiarism, and Biden settled into the Senate and a distinguished career in judiciary matters and foreign relations. Known for his charm, ambition, and occasional verbal gaffes, Biden attempted a comeback in the 2008 election but pulled back after defeat in Iowa. Instead, Biden’s ambitions ended in selection as Barack Obama’s running mate and vice president. Journalist Witcover draws on in-depth research and interviews for a portrait of Biden from his working-class youth in Scranton, Pennsylvania, through the ups and downs of his personal and political life, to the office that is a heartbeat from the president but not always politically respected. He explores the events that shaped Biden’s life and his prospects in an administration challenged on every front. --Vanessa Bush

From the Back Cover

"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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jules Witcover is one of the most distinguished and recognized of the veteran Washington correspondents. A former political columnist for the Baltimore Sun, he is the author of numerous books, including 85 Days: The Last Campaign of Robert Kennedy, Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, The Party of the People: A History of the Democrats, and The Year the Dream Died: Revisiting 1968 in America.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Victor on November 1, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(JOE BIDEN) A Life of Trial and Redemption by Witcover, Jules(Author)Hardcover{Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption} on01-Oct-2010
My wife and I have just finished reading the book--JOE BIDEN, by Jules Witcover. To call this biography of the Vice President, fascinating, would be an understatement. It is much more than that.
It kept us both, in turn, glued to the pages, as each facet in the life of this likable, yet complex, individual unfolds. From growing up as an average American boy to being elected as the youngest United States Senator where he had an outstanding career, earning the respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Witcover tells this story in an easy readable style, leaving out none of the details. The ups and downs of a life--the tragedies, the successes, the happy times, the challenges during a forty year career as a public figure. It is the first authentic look we get of Joe Biden and his family. Page after page he becomes real to us and through the pen of an experienced and talented journalist, the rumors and myths are
brushed aside until we see the complete picture of a truly remarkable man.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the inside story of why and how dedicated and honest plain people accomplish great deeds within the Washington of today.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By pat f. on December 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
With this this book, Jules Witcover, who has covered Washington politics and politicians for half a century, upholds his reputation as a sharp and honest writer with no built-in prejudices. Joe Biden is much more complex than the familiar smiling character who gets assigned to deal with every major problem facing the country. Witcover tells the full story of Biden's personal and political crises, and leaves the reader with vastly greater understanding of and empathy for the man who is one heartbeat away from the presidency.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Collins on September 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Here we have a good, basic biography of Joe Biden, currently serving as the 47th Vice President of the United States.

It starts out with his childhood first in Scranton, Pennsylvania and later when his family moves to Wilmington, Delaware. During his time there, Biden became interested in politics and dreamed of one day being able to serve in the United States Senate. He went to law school and became a lawyer working to help minorities in Delaware. He still wanted to serve in the Senate, but was convinced that he needed more name recognition. So he got elected to the New Castle County Council and served there for almost two years before seeking election to the Senate.

During the campaign, he faced veteran Delaware politician Cale Boggs. A man considered by some to be unbeatable. But Biden, against all odds managed to beat him. He was only twenty-nine years-old at the time, and only reached the constitutional age of thirty weeks later. However, tragedy would strike Biden when both his wife and his daughter were killed in an automobile accident the next month after the election. Biden considered giving up his Senate seat, but was convinced otherwise by Mike Mansfield. He was sworn-in at the bedside of his sons, injured in the accident, in the hospital becoming one of the youngest senators in U.S. history.

Biden would go on to serve about thirty-six years in Senate. Most of the book covers his time there. He served on the important Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. Much attention is given to the nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Biden was against both nominations and was successful in having Bork rejected. He also tackled other issues such as protecting women against violence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary L. Hewel on June 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have long been a "fan" of vice president, joe biden. This man is one of a very few politicians that to me is very honest. This book confirms that for me and i hope others would read it and share in my convictions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard R on December 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Poorly written, hard to follow, odd style. I'd recommend Biden's autobiography, "Promises to Keep", instead. I couldn't finish this one.
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