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The Thunder and the Sunshine: Four Seasons in a Burnished Life Hardcover – August 17, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555917399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555917395
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,856,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"If you are interested in politics and policy, you will find it absorbing and instructive."—James Fallows, The Atlantic

"By continuing to follow his passion for the scholarly analysis of foreign and public policy issues, Gary Hart has risen from late-night punchline to elder statesman..." —

About the Author

Gary Hart: Gary Hart represented the state of Colorado in the US Senate from 1975 until 1987. During his senate years, he played a leadership role in major environmental and conservation legislation, military reform initiatives, new initiatives to advance the information revolution, and new directions in foreign policy. He is currently Scholar in Residence at the University of Colorado, cochair of the US-Russia Commission, and vice chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He is also chair of the American Security Project, a Distinguished Congressional Fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the board of the Eurasia Foundation. He was cochair of the US Commission on National Security for the 21st Century, which performed the most comprehensive review of national security since 1947, predicted the terrorist attacks on America, and proposed a sweeping overhaul of US national security structures and policies for the post–Cold War century and the age of terrorism. Senator Hart is the author of 18 books, including The Courage of Our Convictions, The Shield and the Cloak, Under the Eagle’s Wing, and God and Caesar in America.

Douglas Brinkley: Dr. Douglas Brinkley previously served as director of the Theodore Roosevelt Center for American Civilization and Professor of History at Tulane University. In July 2007, he joined RICE University and the James Baker Institute for public Policy.

Four of Dr. Brinkley’s biographies have been selected as New York Times "Notable Books of the Year": Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years (1992), Driven Patriot: The Life and Times of James Forrestal, with Townsend Hoopes (1992), The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House (1998), and Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company and a Century of Progress (2003). And three more recent publications have become New York Times best-sellers: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc; Ronald Reagan, D-Day and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion (2005), Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War (2004) and Parish Priest: Father McGivney and American Catholicism (2006). His most recent publications include a two-volume edition of Ronald Reagan’s unpublished White House diaries and The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America.

Dr. Brinkley is contributing editor for Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times Book Review, and American Heritage. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, and The Atlantic Monthly.
He lives in Austin Texas with his wife Anne and two children Benton and Johnny.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Senator Gary Hart has written a new memoir of his years of public service. The book makes a radical departure from the tone and style of his previous 1993 memoir, The Good Fight, which was mostly told in the third person and was heavily issue-driven. This memoir focuses much more on personal experiences throughout his years as a campaign manager, US senator, presidential candidate, author, and statesman, and reveals that Senator Hart is not quite the "cool and aloof" person the media described him to be in the 1980s.
There are anecdotes related in this book that had me laughing out loud, including one involving an Italian prison and another involving Soviet Premier Brezhnev's prescription medications. Senator Hart owns up to somewhat of a mischievous streak in the telling of both. There are also episodes involving missed opportunities (by the Reagan Administration) to make historic inroads to peace in troubled global hot spots at a time when pro-active US involvement could have been a game-changer.
Senator Hart's viewpoint has always been thought-provoking and unique; he continues to demonstrate those qualities here, but in a way that shows a much greater willingness to discuss personal thoughts and feelings and to display his own wry sense of humor than he has shown in past writings.
I devoured this book in a few days, enjoyed it tremendously, and recommend it absolutely.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
With decades of experience, Gary Hart knows more than a thing or two about public service. "The Thunder and the Sunshine: Four Seasons in a Burnished Life" serves as an autobiography of Colorado senator Gary Hart and his years in the senate, before moving on to other political endeavors which give him a wide reaching view of politics in many administrations. "The Thunder and the Sunshine" a fascinating and educational view of the changing political seasons, very highly recommended for any biography collection.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hart simply proves over and over that he is 100 percent about himself. He is not of the people and the only person he cares about is Gary Hartpence. This book is poorly written and does not hold together. He has now found another person to equate himself with with - He is both the modern Machiavelli and now another hero. Thank God the press and people had good sense in 84 and 88. A book about his many affairs really would be interesting but not this drivel.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By West Coast Liberal on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was somewhat of a disappointment. Hart was a key player in Presidential and Congressional politics and he offers many insightful comments about the cold war and societal changes. However, the book is a boring read as he writes much of it in the third person. Also, he devotes too many pages (way too many) discussing similarities between himself and Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses". Hart's memoir includes many interesting stories about his interactions with world leaders. However, he doesn't include a single anecdote about lessons learned while interacting with everyday people. Obama's speeches often reference a specific worker, student, etc. that impacted him. Not Gary Hart. He's a man for the people; but not of the people.
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