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Letter to a New President: Commonsense Lessons for Our Next Leader Paperback – Bargain Price, January 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312561652
  • ASIN: B0046LUHCA
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,431,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this book-length letter to the next president, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) draws on his 56 years of experience in Congress to offer advice, admonition and encouragement. With frequent references to past presidents, especially his personal favorite, Harry Truman, Byrd claims that his passion for the Constitution is only rivaled by his love for his wife. He presents a readable, if slight, survey of past presidencies and a scathing evaluation of the greatest crisis in the nation's history brought about by the failings of the Bush administration: the buildup to the war in Iraq and the president's bungled handling of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. Chapter headings such as Bring Back the Fireside Chat and scads of references to Emerson, Jefferson and Thoreau provide a rich philosophical context to Byrd's political thought, even as much of his advice feels familiar and anodyne: Build Your Presidency Around Accountability. The book's detailed analysis of the great power and responsibility of the executive branch is timely, and prospective presidents and concerned citizens would be well-advised to read Byrd's book. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Known as a scholar and orator, Byrd delivers homespun wisdom in Letter to the New President. He quotes philosophers, poets, and Founding Fathers in equal measure, championing values that may seem old-fashioned but are, he argues, needed more than ever.” —Associated Press

“The book’s detailed analysis of the great power and responsibility of the executive branch is timely, and prospective presidents and concerned citizens would be well advised to read Byrd’s book.” —Publishers Weekly

“At ninety years of age, after nine terms as Democratic senator from West Virginia under eleven presidents, Byrd offers a long view of the best and worst impulses of those who have served as president.” —Booklist

“Senator Byrd draws on a lifetime of experience to offer a guiding hand to our country’s next Commander in Chief. His unfailing faith in God and country provides an example of the best we should hope to find in our leaders as well as any of our fellow citizens.” ---President Jimmy Carter


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Diane Kistner TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 6, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was reminded I wanted to buy this book when I read a review accusing Robert Byrd of focusing on tearing down George W. Bush and "name-calling." This did not sound like the Robert Byrd I've been watching defend our blessed U.S. Constitution for almost my entire adult life, but I wanted to see for myself.

Beyond cautions to the new president, whether Republican or Democrat, about what "he or she" will inherit from George W. Bush, I found this book to be a very balanced, long-sighted view of the history of this nation and the principles on which it was founded. Stating the truth of where we now stand is not "name-calling"; the reality is that the Bush/Cheney administration and its enablers have very seriously undermined and damaged America and her Constitution. We the People, her lifeblood, have become so perilously anemic and "unmoored" from history and reality that the U.S. citizenry is hardly capable of the kind of debate and reflection required for self-governance. And yet we have little trust in our leaders.

Senator Byrd lays out a number of important approaches the new president must take to restore the confidence of the American people in her leaders and--most importantly--themselves as citizens who, in the final analysis, must be informed enough to self-govern, as the Founding Fathers intended.

Here are the steps Byrd urges our new president will take:

1. Bring back the fireside chat.
2. Teach the people about the Constitution.
3. No life stands outside history.
4. A big lie is still a lie; tell the truth.
5. Build your presidency around accountability.
6. Let the press do its job, even when that might sting.
7. We can do better than photo-op diplomacy.
8. A new approach to the rest of the world: influence.
9.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book is very well-written, and well thought out. But after the second or third chapter, I got tired of hearing the same gripes about President Bush. Also, there are moments in the book when Byrd seems too egotistical. He puts himself on a pedestal about his decisions to object to war. But he doesn't mention at all about his decision to vote for the Patriot Act, even during the part when he discusses wiretapping citizens and how Bush was wrong to do that. Overall, it's a good book for people that like Senator Byrd.
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful By America's First Uncle on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My Grandmother, and Mother both told me, "If you can't say anything nice about someone, you shouldn't say anything at all"; Senator Robert C. Byrd would have been wise to follow such sage advice in his latest book. His book is full of critisism of President George W. Bush. He should have warned the readers of his book in the title that it was actually an attack of our president. Don't get me wrong, a little blame properly placed is never a bad thing, but he spends more time name calling, then offering solutions, and wise advise.

I honestly tired of reading his attacks, throughout the book, and I'm a registered Democrat and I live on Byrd Lane in Clarksburg, WV. This kind of literature should have come with a money back offer if not completely satisfied.
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