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The President's Counselor: The Rise to Power of Alberto Gonzales (Spanish Edition) (Spanish) Hardcover – July 3, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Rayo; First Edition edition (July 3, 2006)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0061119202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061119200
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,573,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Bill Minutaglio is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including biographies of President George W. Bush, Molly Ivins and Alberto Gonzales, and a narrative retelling of the greatest man-made disaster in American history. An anthology of his writing about race and injustice in America is entitled "In Search of The Blues: A Journey To The Soul of Black Texas."

His work has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Newsweek, Texas Monthly, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Outside and many other publications. His work has been featured, along with that of Ernest Hemingway, in Esquire's list of the greatest tales of survival ever written.

Reviewers have compared his writing to Tom Wolfe, Herman Melville and Hunter Thompson. His work has been optioned by Tom Cruise, published in China and lauded by Oliver Stone. Among the writers who have offered praise on his book jackets: Buzz Bissinger, Sir Harold Evans, Douglas Brinkley, Gail Sheehy, James Lee Burke and Mario Puzo.

He has won numerous awards for his writing, including recognition from The National Association of Black Journalists and The National Conference of Christians and Jews, which saluted his work in fighting prejudice. He has been featured on The Today Show, NPR's Fresh Air and other programs. He has been interviewed by Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and others.

His work has been called "excellent" by The New York Review of Books, New Republic and others. The NYTimes has called his work "fascinating." The San Francisco Chronicle has called his work "chilling." The Texas Observer said his book "City On Fire" was one of the "finest books ever written about Texas."

He is a professor of journalism at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is The Fellow to the Everett Collier Chair. He has been honored as one of the Outstanding Teachers in the University of Texas statewide system. He is a columnist for The Texas Observer, one of America's oldest and important investigative magazines.

"Minutaglio has long been regarded as one of the great writers in Texas journalism."
The Austin American-Statesman

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric Hobart VINE VOICE on July 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Alberto Gonzales was recently confirmed as the 80th Attorney General of the United States. Bill Minutaglio, in his new book, The President's Counselor, describes how Mr. Gonzales rose from abject poverty at the outset of his life to become the nation's top law enforcement official.

Minutaglio presents us with a vivid and spectacular opening to the book - 2 wonderfully written chapters detailing Gonzales' early years in Humble, Texas. We are given a very evocative portrait of the sufferings of migrant workers deep in the heart of Texas - this really gives the reader a unique perspective on the upbringing of this man Alberto Gonzales.

Minutaglio recounts for the reader with the story of how Gonzales escaped this poverty, became a lawyer, and befriended George W. Bush, who was later to become the 43rd President of the United States. As an utterly loyal servant to his client, Gonzales seems to be completely subservient to the wishes of his client, including his revered friend George Bush.

As the counselor to Bush in Texas and again in Washington, Gonzales has demonstrated his loyalty and willingness to find the legal loopholes to ensure that the Bush agenda is compliant with the laws as it is promoted. However, as Minutaglio discusses, this has come at a price to Gonzales - he has been subjected to many questions about the so called "Bybee memo" which appears to have condoned torture at Abu Ghraib, and about his involvement in the domestic wiretapping program undertaken by the Bush Administration.

As George Bush rose through the political ranks to become President, Alberto Gonzales also rose through the political ranks, became a much more political player than ever before, and has now risen to the level of the nation's first Hispanic Attorney General.
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Format: Hardcover
Bill Minutaglio has created an excellent biography about a reclusive, uncommunicative subject -- a difficult job no matter who your subject is. He limns Gonzales's background and history with deft strokes, and chronicles Gonzales's rise to power from the poor son of migrant workers to White House counsel efficiently and straightforwardly. Despite what some reviewers have said, Minutaglio avoids the partisan extremes of either side: this is neither a liberal hatchet job nor a conservative love-letter.

What Minutaglio does not entirely succeed in doing is getting inside the psyche of Alberto Gonzales. This is no fault of his own. Gonzales is reticent, retiring, and intensely private; even his close friends know only what Gonzales chooses to share with them. Gonzales himself lent little or no help to Minutaglio in crafting the book, and therefore the author had to rely on third-party sources, mostly friends, colleagues and journalists. Thusly, this book is as much an examination of Gonzales as a career lawyer and Bush advisor as it is a portrait of the man himself. Ultimately, Minutaglio is unable to answer some of the most basic questions about Gonzales: who he sees himself as being, what drives him, and why he made some of the controversial choices he has made in his career. The reader comes away believing that Gonzales himself may not have detailed and thought-out answers for these questions. Like George W. Bush, Gonzales is apparently not given to introspection and self-questioning. Minutaglio, and the rest of us, are left to try to fill in the blanks with whatever information we can compile.

Minutaglio did a laudable, even-handed job with this book considering the limitations he had to work with.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By callie harden on August 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The only reason I read past the second chapter of this book was my innate stubborness to see where this so-called "author" eventually brings this diatribe. For background, I am a 71 year old WASP, raised in the public school system of El Paso, Texas in the 1940's-50's, arguably one of the most culturally diverse cities for it's size in the U.S. at that time, with some 65% Hispanics. We all went to the same classrooms, played on the athletic fields together, used the same facilities to shower and dress, learned each other's languages, and dated together. In reading this book, none of that inter-cultural knowledge is evident, and "Methinks" that this author knows NOT whereof he writes. He distinguishes between Christian and Hispanic voters (??) and singles out Mr. Gonzales as a "token" Hispanic for special treatment.

The author continually points a finger at Judge Gonzales' "alcoholic" father, and beats a steady, LOUD drumbeat into the reader's psyche of the President's "criminal background", a 30 year old self-confessed vehicular traffic offence that harmed no one, as if it were greater than, or exceeded the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.

This book appears to have been written more as an "expose" with an agenda rather than for the enlightenment of the readers concerning this nation's most unusual and accomplished Attorney General.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By reader on July 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book with great background information on Bush as well. The Texas politics parts are fascinating. A really good writer. I hope he does a follow-up on Gonzales and his role in the government in the nearer past.
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