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The Man in the Middle: An Inside Account of Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era Hardcover – September 15, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

“President Bush begins each day with prayer. He believes the Bible is truth, and he believes the United States of America is exactly what New England Puritan John Winthrop said it was, ‘The shining city upon a hill.’ He believes this is an exceptional country that has been called out of all of history to be the great beacon of liberty and freedom. The depth of his belief in this impacts his attitude about everything . . .

“This is a story about the depth of a man’s character. It is a story about his magnanimity, sense of gratitude, servant-leadership, loyalty, and concern for real people, not just abstractions or “staff.” It is about something far deeper.

“Washington has too few men and women who exhibit this kind of moral fiber. It was my privilege and joy to work for one of them.”

—Timothy S. Goeglein, The Man in the Middle

Timothy S. Goeglein is vice president of External Relations for Focus on the Family. He served as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison under President George W. Bush for nearly eight years. Goeglein and his wife have two sons.

From the Back Cover

Timothy Goeglein spent nearly eight years in the White House as President George W. Bush’s key point of contact to American conservatives and the faith-based world and was often profiled in the national news media. But when a plagiarism scandal prompted his resignation, Goeglein chose not to dodge it but confront it, and was shown remarkable grace by the president. In fact, Bush showed more concern for Goeglein and his family than any personal political standing.

The Man in the Middle is Goeglein’s unique insider account of why he believes most of the 43rd president’s in-office decisions were made for the greater good, and how many of those decisions could serve as a blueprint for the emergence of a thoughtful, confident conservatism. From a fresh perspective, Goeglein gives behind-the-scenes accounts of key events during that historic two-term administration, reflecting on what was right and best about the Bush years. He was in Florida for the 2000 election recount, at the White House on 9/11, and watched Bush become an effective, confident wartime president.

Goeglein, now a vice president with Focus on the Family, also looks back at how Bush handled matters like stem cell research, faith-based initiatives, the emergence of the Values Voters, the nominations of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito—in which Goeglein had a direct role—and debates over the definition of marriage.

In all, The Man in the Middle supports historians who view the legacy of President George W. Bush in a favorable light, recognizing his conservative ideas as worth upholding in order to better shape our nation and change the world. Goeglein concludes the book on a hopeful note, showing how a thoughtful, prudent infusion of faith in American culture and public life can contribute to an American Renaissance in this new century.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books; First Edition edition (September 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143367288X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433672880
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Former Bush aide and public liaison Timothy Goeglein offers an insightful and honest view of the Bush administration from an insider's perspective. From the first chapter's candid review of the scandal that prompted his own resignation from the White House and sent his career plummeting, to the final uplifting chapter encouraging hope for a renaissance in American culture and society, the author shows both the promise and the peril, the leverage and the limits, of American politics.
Mr. Goeglein offers behind-the-scenes glimpses at how the administration chose and advanced Supreme Court nominees, stem cell policies, the faith-based initiative and much more that will interest and educate both supporters and critics of the Bush administration.
Unlike some "kiss-and-tell" exposes of disgruntled staffers with axes to grind, this is a book of grace, integrity and hope. Recommended reading for anyone who values history, leadership and faith.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Man in the Middle" is a fascinating and immensely interesting read for anyone interested in the inner workings of the Bush White House, especially with regard to the faith and character of our 43rd president. But the book is even more than that. Through sharing his life's experiences on the way to the White House, and the life lessons Tim learned once there - including a humbling "fall from grace" - one can not only see God's grace at work, but also His mercy as extended through the most powerful man in the world - the President of the United States. Throughout the book, Tim's humility, his love for country, and his loyalty comes through time and time again. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a true portrait of two devoted men who know their accountability rests with God, and not the New York Times editorial page, as Tim's (and the former president's) heart for God and country shine through every page.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While many blame Bush, using 20/20 hindsight, for all the problems we have to today, this book gives us first hand accounts and insight to the character of the author and the President. It is an important lesson learned that we can apply to our lives since we have all fallen short of the mark. It shows us man on top has not let power gone to his head, that he retained his personal humbleness due to his faith in God. He walked the talk.

Instead of condemning someone who wronged him, Bush forgave them and prayed with them, he showed love for another more than himself. This is an earmark of a Christian, that he is known by his love. Something not commonly seen in the world of politics or in the workplace, past, present or I expect the future. While many will put Bush down, I expect none of them have placed themselves in his shoes not even for a moment. Empathy and forgiveness are both absent from their character. Those who are quick to condemn him, and others, are not unlike those who gathered stones to kill a sinner of days of old, only to have Christ say; let the him who is without sin cast the first stone. Back then all dropped their stones since the anger they had towards others was the anger they deserved for themselves. But that is not the case today as many people hold themselves as their own gold standard, or what Christians call self righteousness.

This book shows us, that how we deal with situations, both good and bad, tells others about our true character and love. For those of you who are not Christians and claim to be open minded, this book will help you gain insight that cannot be gained by 30 second media clips and sound bites, and never accounted in the newspapers or magazines.
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Format: Hardcover
Goeglein eventually became the conduit between the President and the religious/think tanks of our country. The story of how he got there and the lessons learned and applied is what this great memoir to read relates.

What shocks the reader and begs the question is why does he start with his fall from office and grace with the Bush Whitehouse after discovery of plagurism? The rest of the memoir answers this question that he has learned that what he believes about eternity informs and animates his whole life,including his vocation in politics and culture. He is a man who grew up in the Midwest in the Lutheran faith who discovers that his is the foundation and root of all he is and is passionate about. While to most such an earthshaking, life changing event would destroy them or severly damage their future, Goeglein builds the case that this providential happening was actually for the best and his edification in the grace and mercy of Christ, which Pres. Bush pours out upon the situation.

Goeglein thereby develops how such a faith exhibited by Bush and other public figures inspires and propels him down destiny's road. History can only be the real judge of the failure or success of such, and Goeglein very much advocates this for the political figures he has served, especially our 43rd President.

He very much is a passionate practioner of conservatism and defines it well along with referring to his mentors and informants of this worldview in his life. America is torn, the author believes, between those who would wish to tear down and replace completely our country's foundational roots which this author believes is happening with big government, etc. to the detriment and eventual destruction of America the great. He offers Renaissance plans for the counter to this.

Truly worth reading and contemplating!
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