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Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 5, 2010
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
The first part of the book talks about Mr. Biden's childhood and upbringing which brings out the authenticity very well of this book. Joe was you average American boy back in the 50's. He got B's in school and played football with avid fascination. The book presents Mr. Biden as an easy going boy who had high aspirations for his future. It brings out his human side. We are all human and prone to make mistakes and reading this book I got more of a sense that Mr. Biden is human just like you and me.
I enjoyed reading about Mr. Biden's life in a play by play format. Much of the book has commentary by his close friends, family and associates. It shed light upon how much Mr. Biden was a family man. Above all else he put his family first. Mr. Biden's daughter in the book talks about how her father was always there, if not in person than on the phone. Despite his responsibilities to the federal government he managed to balance his life at home very well. He commuted from his home in Delaware to the capitol of the United States over 7000 times throughout his career on a train. Mr. Biden is described by friends as friendly and down to earth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome book! Joe Biden is a man who has given his life to public service. It only goes to the election of 2008 but you really about th foundation of who he is.Published on January 19, 2014 by Foothill Ranch 14
Poorly written, hard to follow, odd style. I'd recommend Biden's autobiography, "Promises to Keep", instead. I couldn't finish this one.Published on December 8, 2013 by Richard R
biden cost obama my vote. Biden is a dumb idiot who cannot spell and he speaks with stupid accents in front of black crowdsPublished on November 11, 2013 by steffen911
Unbelievable biographical crap. Joe Biden is a pansy boy now and always has been. I equate this reading to that of some of the story's I have read to my grandchildren out of the... Read morePublished on February 17, 2013 by AmericanPitBull