From Publishers Weekly
Although a taciturn and reputedly uncharismatic man, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales rose from his beginnings in Humble, Tex., to become one of the most powerful men in America. In a biography that reads like a novel, Minutaglio traces the Mexican-American lawyer's dramatic route from poor son of an alcoholic father to the most trusted aide to President Bush. While he examines Gonzales's childhood and White House days, the majority of the book focuses on how Gonzales worked himself inside the Bush family's inner circle during the early days of George W. Bush's presidential campaign. Minutaglio, journalist and author of First Son: George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty
, draws an unbiased, lively portrait of Gonzales as one of Bush's most prized advisers, due to Gonzales's ability to sum up complex legal language in a few sentences and his willingness to interpret the law to fit the president's agenda. Minutaglio also explains how the timing was right for conservatives to have a Hispanic on their side. While the book is revealing about Gonzales's assimilation into Bush's white, moneyed Texas world, it offers few reactions from the Hispanic community, leaving readers to wonder what Gonzales's success means to those he left behind. 16 pages of photos. (July)
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The life of Alberto Gonzales is the quintessential American success story. From humble beginnings (literally, from Humble, Texas), he rose to become a successful corporate lawyer, counselor to the president of the U.S., and much-talked-about prospect to be the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice. But his involvement in some of the more controversial policies of the Bush administration has likely killed his chances of reaching the high court. Minutaglio, author of First Son: George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty
(1999), explores the enigmatic Gonzales, son of Mexican immigrants and close friend and confidant of the president. To a portrait of an ambitious but circumspect man rising in the rough politics of Houston, Minutaglio adds details of a man with a "mortician's calm" in the face of rising political strife in the Bush Texas governorship and presidency as Gonzales offered advice on the death penalty, torture of prisoners, and privacy issues. Minutaglio plumbs the personality of a man whose loyalty to the president may have compromised his professional principles. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved