The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III

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The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
Title The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
Author
Publisher Doubleday
Release DateSeptember 29, 2020
Category New Release
Total Pages 671 pages
ISBN 1234567890
Book Rating 5 out of 5 from 151 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

From two of America's most revered political journalists comes the definitive biography of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III: the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world. For a quarter-century, from the end of Watergate to the aftermath of the Cold War, no Republican won the presidency without his help or ran the White House without his advice. James Addison Baker III was the indispensable man for four presidents because he understood better than anyone how to make Washington work at a time when America was shaping events around the world. The Man Who Ran Washington is a page-turning portrait of a power broker who influenced America's destiny for generations. A scion of Texas aristocracy who became George H. W. Bush's best friend on the tennis courts of the Houston Country Club, Baker had never even worked in Washington until a devastating family tragedy struck when he was thirty-nine. Within a few years, he was leading Gerald Ford's campaign and would go on to manage a total of five presidential races and win a sixth for George W. Bush in a Florida recount. He ran Ronald Reagan's White House and became the most consequential secretary of state since Henry Kissinger. He negotiated with Democrats at home and Soviets abroad, rewrote the tax code, assembled the coalition that won the Gulf War, brokered the reunification of Germany and helped bring a decades-long nuclear superpower standoff to an end. Ruthlessly partisan during campaign season, Baker governed as the avatar of pragmatism over purity and deal-making over division, a lost art in today's fractured nation. His story is a case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power in late twentieth-century America and the story of Washington and the world in the modern era--how it once worked and how it has transformed into an era of gridlock and polarization. This masterly biography by two brilliant observers of the American political scene is destined to become a classic.

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Title The Man Who Ran Washington
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2021
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 736
ISBN 9781101912164
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Co-authored by the Chief White House correspondent at The New York Times and the Washington columnist at the The New Yorker, this is a biography any would-be power broker must own: the story of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III, the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world. In the latter half of the twentieth century, no Republican won the presidency without his help, and the men he counseled in the Oval Office--Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush--defined more than one generation of American life. Campaign manager, chief of staff, treasury secretary, and ultimately secretary of state, James A. Baker III understood better than anyone how to make Washington work and how to pull the levers of power at home and abroad. A suave and profane Texas Democrat, Baker worked as a wealthy Houston lawyer until his best friend, George H. W. Bush, drew him into Republican politics. His first dramatic win was in 1976 as the delegate hunter who secured the Republican nomination for Ford against a challenge from Ronald Reagan. His next job, as Bush's campaign manager four years later, maneuvered Bush onto the ticket with Reagan and Baker into the most powerful office in Washington other than the Oval Office: White House chief of staff. In his years in the White House and in the cabinet, Baker was the avatar of a style of politics and governance that valued pragmatism and deal making over purity. He went from win to win--reforming the tax code, negotiating the first Middle East peace talks, managing the dissolution of the Soviet Union--until his capstone victory, as field marshal for the younger Bush's Florida recount battle, helped divide the country forever. In today's era of gridlock, The Man Who Ran Washington is an electrifying escape"--

Title The Man Who Ran Washington
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2020-09-29
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 720
ISBN 9780385540568
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times • The Washington Post • Fortune • Bloomberg From two of America's most revered political journalists comes the definitive biography of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III: the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world. For a quarter-century, from the end of Watergate to the aftermath of the Cold War, no Republican won the presidency without his help or ran the White House without his advice. James Addison Baker III was the indispensable man for four presidents because he understood better than anyone how to make Washington work at a time when America was shaping events around the world. The Man Who Ran Washington is a page-turning portrait of a power broker who influenced America's destiny for generations. A scion of Texas aristocracy who became George H. W. Bush's best friend on the tennis courts of the Houston Country Club, Baker had never even worked in Washington until a devastating family tragedy struck when he was thirty-nine. Within a few years, he was leading Gerald Ford's campaign and would go on to manage a total of five presidential races and win a sixth for George W. Bush in a Florida recount. He ran Ronald Reagan's White House and became the most consequential secretary of state since Henry Kissinger. He negotiated with Democrats at home and Soviets abroad, rewrote the tax code, assembled the coalition that won the Gulf War, brokered the reunification of Germany and helped bring a decades-long nuclear superpower standoff to an end. Ruthlessly partisan during campaign season, Baker governed as the avatar of pragmatism over purity and deal-making over division, a lost art in today's fractured nation. His story is a case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power in late twentieth-century America and the story of Washington and the world in the modern era--how it once worked and how it has transformed into an era of gridlock and polarization. This masterly biography by two brilliant observers of the American political scene is destined to become a classic.

Title The Man Who Ran Washington
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Doubleday
Release Date 2020-05-12
Category
Total Pages 688
ISBN 0385540558
Language English, Spanish, and French
GET BOOK
Book Summary:

Co-authored by the Chief White House correspondent at The New York Times and the Washington columnist at the The New Yorker, this is a biography any would-be power broker must own: the story of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III, the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world. In the latter half of the twentieth century, no Republican won the presidency without his help, and the men he counseled in the Oval Office--Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush--defined more than one generation of American life. Campaign manager, chief of staff, treasury secretary, and ultimately secretary of state, James A. Baker III understood better than anyone how to make Washington work and how to pull the levers of power at home and abroad. A suave and profane Texas Democrat, Baker worked as a wealthy Houston lawyer until his best friend, George H. W. Bush, drew him into Republican politics. His first dramatic win was in 1976 as the delegate hunter who secured the Republican nomination for Ford against a challenge from Ronald Reagan. His next job, as Bush's campaign manager four years later, maneuvered Bush onto the ticket with Reagan and Baker into the most powerful office in Washington other than the Oval Office: White House chief of staff. In his years in the White House and in the cabinet, Baker was the avatar of a style of politics and governance that valued pragmatism and deal making over purity. He went from win to win--reforming the tax code, negotiating the first Middle East peace talks, managing the dissolution of the Soviet Union--until his capstone victory, as field marshal for the younger Bush's Florida recount battle, helped divide the country forever. In today's era of gridlock, The Man Who Ran Washington is an electrifying escape.

Days Of Fire by Peter Baker

Title Days of Fire
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Anchor Books
Release Date 2014
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 800
ISBN 9780385525190
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A senior White House correspondent presents a history of the Bush and Cheney White House years that shares anecdotes by more than two hundred insiders to explore the inner conflicts that shaped the handling of significant events.

Kremlin Rising by Peter Baker

Title Kremlin Rising
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2005-06-07
Category Political Science
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9780743281799
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In the tradition of Hedrick Smith's The Russians, Robert G. Kaiser's Russia: The People and the Power, and David Remnick's Lenin's Tomb comes an eloquent and eye-opening chronicle of Vladimir Putin's Russia, from this generation's leading Moscow correspondents. With the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia launched itself on a fitful transition to Western-style democracy. But a decade later, Boris Yeltsin's handpicked successor, Vladimir Putin, a childhood hooligan turned KGB officer who rose from nowhere determined to restore the order of the Soviet past, resolved to bring an end to the revolution. Kremlin Rising goes behind the scenes of contemporary Russia to reveal the culmination of Project Putin, the secret plot to reconsolidate power in the Kremlin. During their four years as Moscow bureau chiefs for The Washington Post, Peter Baker and Susan Glasser witnessed firsthand the methodical campaign to reverse the post-Soviet revolution and transform Russia back into an authoritarian state. Their gripping narrative moves from the unlikely rise of Putin through the key moments of his tenure that re-centralized power into his hands, from his decision to take over Russia's only independent television network to the Moscow theater siege of 2002 to the "managed democracy" elections of 2003 and 2004 to the horrific slaughter of Beslan's schoolchildren in 2004, recounting a four-year period that has changed the direction of modern Russia. But the authors also go beyond the politics to draw a moving and vivid portrait of the Russian people they encountered -- both those who have prospered and those barely surviving -- and show how the political flux has shaped individual lives. Opening a window to a country on the brink, where behind the gleaming new shopping malls all things Soviet are chic again and even high school students wonder if Lenin was right after all, Kremlin Rising features the personal stories of Russians at all levels of society, including frightened army deserters, an imprisoned oil billionaire, Chechen villagers, a trendy Moscow restaurant king, a reluctant underwear salesman, and anguished AIDS patients in Siberia. With shrewd reporting and unprecedented access to Putin's insiders, Kremlin Rising offers both unsettling new revelations about Russia's leader and a compelling inside look at life in the land that he is building. As the first major book on Russia in years, it is an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of the country and promises to shape the debate about Russia, its uncertain future, and its relationship with the United States.

Master Negotiator by Diana Villiers Negroponte

Title Master Negotiator
Author Diana Villiers Negroponte
Publisher Archway Publishing
Release Date 2020-11-20
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 418
ISBN 9781480897564
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

As secretary of state, James A. Baker III played a critical role on the world stage in the final years of the Cold War as the Soviet Union unraveled. His political sense and the ability to test Soviet leaders, negotiate insoluble problems in the Middle East, charm friends, and achieve the placement of a unified Germany in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were unmatched. Diana Villiers Negroponte, an author, lawyer, and professor, highlights how Baker mobilized a coalition of international military forces, including the Soviets, to repel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Baker seduced Israeli and West Bank Palestinians to meet face to face and begin the Oslo peace process and ended two civil wars in Central America. While he was initially hesitant about the Nunn Lugar bill to safeguard Soviet nuclear weapons, he became a driving force to transport nuclear material to secure sites in Russia. The author also highlights Baker’s failures, such as the inability to hold Yugoslavia together or to provide sufficient funds to stop the collapse of the Soviet economy. With a foreword written by former President George H.W. Bush, this book reveals Baker’s skills as a statesman—and explores how he changed the world.

Title The Hardest Job in the World
Author John Dickerson
Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
Release Date 2021-03-23
Category Political Science
Total Pages 672
ISBN 9781984854537
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the veteran political journalist and 60 Minutes correspondent, a deep dive into the history, evolution, and current state of the American presidency, and how we can make the job less impossible and more productive—featuring a new post-2020–election epilogue “This is a great gift to our sense of the actual presidency, a primer on leadership.”—Ken Burns Imagine you have just been elected president. You are now commander-in-chief, chief executive, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief of party, chief voice of the people, first responder, chief priest, and world leader. You’re expected to fulfill your campaign promises, but you’re also expected to solve the urgent crises of the day. What’s on your to-do list? Where would you even start? What shocks aren’t you thinking about? The American presidency is in trouble. It has become overburdened, misunderstood, almost impossible to do. “The problems in the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors,” writes John Dickerson. After all, the founders never intended for our system of checks and balances to have one superior Chief Magistrate, with Congress demoted to “the little brother who can’t keep up.” In this eye-opening book, John Dickerson writes about presidents in history such a Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower, and and in contemporary times, from LBJ and Reagan and Bush, Obama, and Trump, to show how a complex job has been done, and why we need to reevaluate how we view the presidency, how we choose our presidents, and what we expect from them once they are in office. Think of the presidential campaign as a job interview. Are we asking the right questions? Are we looking for good campaigners, or good presidents? Once a candidate gets the job, what can they do to thrive? Drawing on research and interviews with current and former White House staffers, Dickerson defines what the job of president actually entails, identifies the things that only the president can do, and analyzes how presidents in history have managed the burden. What qualities make for a good president? Who did it well? Why did Bill Clinton call the White House “the crown jewel in the American penal system”? The presidency is a job of surprises with high stakes, requiring vision, management skill, and an even temperament. Ultimately, in order to evaluate candidates properly for the job, we need to adjust our expectations, and be more realistic about the goals, the requirements, and the limitations of the office. As Dickerson writes, “Americans need their president to succeed, but the presidency is set up for failure. It doesn’t have to be.”

Impeachment by Jon Meacham

Title Impeachment
Author Jon Meacham
Publisher Modern Library
Release Date 2018-10-16
Category History
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9781984853790
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Four experts on the American presidency examine the three times impeachment has been invoked—against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton—and explain what it means today. Impeachment is a double-edged sword. Though it was designed to check tyrants, Thomas Jefferson also called impeachment “the most formidable weapon for the purpose of a dominant faction that was ever contrived.” On the one hand, it nullifies the will of voters, the basic foundation of all representative democracies. On the other, its absence from the Constitution would leave the country vulnerable to despotic leadership. It is rarely used, and with good reason. Only three times has a president’s conduct led to such political disarray as to warrant his potential removal from office, transforming a political crisis into a constitutional one. None has yet succeeded. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for failing to kowtow to congressional leaders—and, in a large sense, for failing to be Abraham Lincoln—yet survived his Senate trial. Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974 after the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against him for lying, obstructing justice, and employing his executive power for personal and political gain. Bill Clinton had an affair with a White House intern, but in 1999 he faced trial in the Senate less for that prurient act than for lying under oath about it. In the first book to consider these three presidents alone—and the one thing they have in common—Jeffrey A. Engel, Jon Meacham, Timothy Naftali, and Peter Baker explain that the basis and process of impeachment is more political than legal. The Constitution states that the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” leaving room for historical precedent and the temperament of the time to weigh heavily on each case. This book reveals the complicated motives behind each impeachment—never entirely limited to the question of a president’s guilt—and the risks to all sides. Each case depended on factors beyond the president’s behavior: his relationship with Congress, the polarization of the moment, and the power and resilience of the office itself. This is a realist view of impeachment that looks to history for clues about its potential use in the future.

The Breach by Peter Baker

Title The Breach
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2000
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9780684868134
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Washington Post reporter who first broke the Monica Lewinsky story offers his own perspective on the ensuing scandal, impeachment, and media coverage. 125,000 first printing.

The Washington War by James Lacey

Title The Washington War
Author James Lacey
Publisher Bantam
Release Date 2020-04-15
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 592
ISBN 9780345547606
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Team of Rivals for World War II--the inside story of how FDR and the towering personalities around him waged war in the corridors of Washington, D.C., to secure ultimate victory on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific. The Washington War is the story of how the Second World War was fought and won in the capital's halls of power--and how the United States, which in December 1941 had a nominal army and a decimated naval fleet, was able in only thirty months to fling huge forces onto the European continent and shortly thereafter shatter Imperial Japan's Pacific strongholds. Three quarters of a century after the overwhelming defeat of the totalitarian Axis forces, the terrifying, razor-thin calculus on which so many critical decisions turned has been forgotten--but had any of these debates gone the other way, the outcome of the war could have been far different: The army in August 1941, about to be disbanded, saved by a single vote. Production plans that would have delayed adequate war matériel for years after Pearl Harbor, circumvented by one uncompromising man's courage and drive. The delicate ballet that precluded a separate peace between Stalin and Hitler. The almost-adopted strategy to stage D-Day at a fatally different time and place. It was all a breathtakingly close-run thing, again and again. Renowned historian James Lacey takes readers behind the scenes in the cabinet rooms, the Pentagon, the Oval Office, and Hyde Park, and at the pivotal conferences--Campobello Island, Casablanca, Tehran--as these disputes raged. Here are colorful portraits of the great figures--and forgotten geniuses--of the day: New Dealers versus industrialists, political power brokers versus the generals, Churchill and the British high command versus the U.S. chiefs of staff, innovators versus entrenched bureaucrats . . . with the master manipulator, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at the center, setting his brawling patriots one against the other and promoting and capitalizing on the furious turf wars. Based on years of research and extensive, previously untapped archival resources, The Washington War is the first integrated, comprehensive chronicle of how all these elements--and towering personalities--clashed and ultimately coalesced at each vital turning point, the definitive account of Washington at real war and the titanic political and bureaucratic infighting that miraculously led to final victory.

Our Man by George Packer

Title Our Man
Author George Packer
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2020-05-26
Category History
Total Pages 624
ISBN 9780307948175
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography* *Winner of the Los Angeles Times Prize for Biography* *Winner of the 2019 Hitchens Prize* "Portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory...Both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy... If you could read one book to comprehend American's foreign policy and its quixotic forays into quicksands over the past 50 years, this would be it."--Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review "By the end of the second page, maybe the third, you will be hooked...There never was a diplomat-activist quite like [Holbrooke], and there seldom has been a book quite like this -- sweeping and sentimental, beguiling and brutal, catty and critical, much like the man himself."--David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe Richard Holbrooke was brilliant, utterly self-absorbed, and possessed of almost inhuman energy and appetites. Admired and detested, he was the force behind the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars, America's greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era. His power lay in an utter belief in himself and his idea of a muscular, generous foreign policy. From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. But his sharp elbows and tireless self-promotion ensured that he never rose to the highest levels in government that he so desperately coveted. His story is thus the story of America during its era of supremacy: its strength, drive, and sense of possibility, as well as its penchant for overreach and heedless self-confidence. In Our Man, drawn from Holbrooke's diaries and papers, we are given a nonfiction narrative that is both intimate and epic in its revelatory portrait of this extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the elite spheres of society and government he inhabited.

Jfk by Fredrik Logevall

Title JFK
Author Fredrik Logevall
Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
Release Date 2021-09-07
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 816
ISBN 9780812987027
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • A Pulitzer Prize–winning historian takes us as close as we have ever been to the real John F. Kennedy in this revelatory biography of the iconic, yet still elusive, thirty-fifth president. “An utterly incandescent study of one of the most consequential figures of the twentieth century.”—Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States WINNER OF THE ELIZABETH LONGFORD PRIZE • NAMED BIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR BY The Times (London) • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Sunday Times (London) • New Statesman • The Daily Telegraph • Kirkus Reviews By the time of his assassination in 1963, John F. Kennedy stood at the helm of the greatest power the world had ever seen, a booming American nation that he had steered through some of the most perilous diplomatic standoffs of the Cold War. Born in 1917 to a striving Irish American family that had become among Boston’s wealthiest, Kennedy knew political ambition from an early age, and his meteoric rise to become the youngest elected president cemented his status as one of the most mythologized figures in American history. And while hagiographic portrayals of his dazzling charisma, reports of his extramarital affairs, and disagreements over his political legacy have come and gone in the decades since his untimely death, these accounts all fail to capture the full person. Beckoned by this gap in our historical knowledge, Fredrik Logevall has spent much of the last decade searching for the “real” JFK. The result of this prodigious effort is a sweeping two-volume biography that properly contextualizes Kennedy amidst the roiling American Century. This volume spans the first thirty-nine years of JFK’s life—from birth through his decision to run for president—to reveal his early relationships, his formative experiences during World War II, his ideas, his writings, his political aspirations. In examining these pre–White House years, Logevall shows us a more serious, independently minded Kennedy than we’ve previously known, whose distinct international sensibility would prepare him to enter national politics at a critical moment in modern U.S. history. Along the way, Logevall tells the parallel story of America’s midcentury rise. As Kennedy comes of age, we see the charged debate between isolationists and interventionists in the years before Pearl Harbor; the tumult of the Second World War, through which the United States emerged as a global colossus; the outbreak and spread of the Cold War; the domestic politics of anti-Communism and the attendant scourge of McCarthyism; the growth of television’s influence on politics; and more. JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956 is a sweeping history of the United States in the middle decades of the twentieth century, as well as the clearest portrait we have of this enigmatic American icon.

Nixonland by Rick Perlstein

Title Nixonland
Author Rick Perlstein
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2010-07-29
Category History
Total Pages 896
ISBN 1451606265
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An exciting e-format containing 27 video clips taken directly from the CBS news archive of a brilliant, best-selling account of the Nixon era by one of America’s most talented young historians. Between 1965 and 1972 America experienced a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know today was born. Nixonland begins in the blood and fire of the Watts riots-one week after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, and nine months after his historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater seemed to have heralded a permanent liberal consensus. The next year scores of liberals were thrown out of Congress, America was more divided than ever-and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon. Six years later, President Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment borne of that blood and fire, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson's, and the outlines of today's politics of red-and-blue division became already distinct. Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland: • Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods, while suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns. • The civil war over Vietnam, the assassinations, the riot at the Democratic National Convention. • Richard Nixon acceding to the presidency pledging a new dawn of national unity--and governing more divisively than any before him. • The rise of twin cultures of left- and right-wing vigilantes, Americans literally bombing and cutting each other down in the streets over political differences. •And, finally, Watergate, the fruit of a president who rose by matching his own anxieties and dreads with those of an increasingly frightened electorate--but whose anxieties and dreads produced a criminal conspiracy in the Oval Office.

Title Work Hard Study and Keep Out of Politics
Author James A. Baker
Publisher Northwestern University Press
Release Date 2008-06-02
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 485
ISBN 9780810124899
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A revelatory memoir by the former secretary of state and White House chief of staff describes his behind-the-scenes witness to numerous political machinations, in an account in which he discusses the Iran-Contra scandal, the Reagan assassination attempt, and the 2000 election in Florida, with an epilogue on the author's vision for U.S. foreign policy. Reprint.

To Start A War by Robert Draper

Title To Start a War
Author Robert Draper
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2020-07-28
Category Political Science
Total Pages 496
ISBN 9780525561057
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

One of BookPage's Best Books of 2020 “The detailed, nuanced, gripping account of that strange and complex journey offered in Robert Draper’s To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq is essential reading—now, especially now . . . Draper’s account [is] one for the ages . . . A must-read for all who care about presidential power.” —The Washington Post From the author of the New York Times bestseller Dead Certain comes the definitive, revelatory reckoning with arguably the most consequential decision in the history of American foreign policy--the decision to invade Iraq. Even now, after more than fifteen years, it is hard to see the invasion of Iraq through the cool, considered gaze of history. For too many people, the damage is still too palpable, and still unfolding. Most of the major players in that decision are still with us, and few of them are not haunted by it, in one way or another. Perhaps it's that combination, the passage of the years and the still unresolved trauma, that explains why so many protagonists opened up so fully for the first time to Robert Draper. Draper's prodigious reporting has yielded scores of consequential new revelations, from the important to the merely absurd. As a whole, the book paints a vivid and indelible picture of a decision-making process that was fatally compromised by a combination of post-9/11 fear and paranoia, rank naïveté, craven groupthink, and a set of actors with idées fixes who gamed the process relentlessly. Everything was believed; nothing was true. The intelligence failure was comprehensive. Draper's fair-mindedness and deep understanding of the principal actors suffuse his account, as does a storytelling genius that is close to sorcery. There are no cheap shots here, which makes the ultimate conclusion all the more damning. In the spirit of Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August and Marc Bloch's Strange Defeat, To Start A War will stand as the definitive account of a collective process that arrived at evidence that would prove to be not just dubious but entirely false, driven by imagination rather than a quest for truth--evidence that was then used to justify a verdict that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and a flood tide of chaos in the Middle East that shows no signs of ebbing.

The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple

Title The Gatekeepers
Author Chris Whipple
Publisher Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Release Date 2017
Category Employees
Total Pages 365
ISBN 9780804138246
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the White House Chiefs of Staff, whose actions--and inactions--have defined the course of our country. Since George Washington, presidents have depended on the advice of key confidants. But it wasn't until the twentieth century that the White House chief of staff became the second most powerful job in government. Unelected and unconfirmed, the chief serves at the whim of the president, hired and fired by him alone. He is the president's closest adviser and the person he depends on to execute his agenda. He decides who gets to see the president, negotiates with Congress, and--most crucially--enjoys unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. When the president makes a life-and-death decision, often the chief of staff is the only other person in the room. Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks. Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeen living chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity, whose members have included Rahm Emanuel, Dick Cheney, Leon Panetta, and Donald Rumsfeld. In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history, showing us how James Baker and Panetta skillfully managed the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, ensuring their reelections--and, conversely, how Jimmy Carter never understood the importance of a chief, crippling his ability to govern. From Watergate to Iran-Contra to the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the Iraq War, Whipple shows us how the chief of staff can make the difference between success and disaster. As an outsider president tries to govern after a bitterly divisive election, The Gatekeepers could not be more timely. Filled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details, it is a compelling history that changes our perspective on the presidency."--Jacket flap.

The Fixer by Bradley Tusk

Title The Fixer
Author Bradley Tusk
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2018-09-18
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9780525536505
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The famed political advisor to Uber, FanDuel, Lemonade, Tesla and other startups reveals what really happens at the intersection of politics, tech and business Most new startups today are in highly regulated industries with strong incumbents - transportation, hotels, drones, energy, gaming, education, health care, cannabis, finance, liquor, insurance. The more startups try to snatch a piece of the establishment's pie, the more they risk running into a political wall. That's where Bradley Tusk comes in. Described as "Silicon Valley's Political Savior" (Fast Company) "Uber's Political Genius" (Vanity Fair) and "Silicon Valley's Favorite Fixer" (TechCrunch) Tusk deploys the skills and knowledge he developed working with Chuck Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, Rod Blagojevich, and other political and business legends to help startups fight back. This book goes behind the scenes on how he helped stop the taxi industry from killing Uber in its infancy, how he held insurance companies at bay while startup Lemonade launched in each state, and how he helped online sports betting sites FanDuel and Draft Kings escape the regulatory death grip casinos tried to put on them. As Tusk writes, "Every new company is essentially a tech startup. And when you disrupt someone in any industry, they don't say thank you. They punch you in the nose. These are the lessons startups need to learn to punch back and survive the clutches of politics." Combining a firsthand glimpse behind the curtain with tangible advice for how any new venture can play the political game, THE FIXER is a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Title What I Saw at the Revolution
Author Peggy Noonan
Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
Release Date 2003-10-14
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780812969894
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

On the hundredth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth comes the twentieth-anniversary edition of Peggy Noonan’s critically acclaimed bestseller What I Saw at the Revolution, for which she provides a new Preface that demonstrates this book’s timeless relevance. As a special assistant to the president, Noonan worked with Ronald Reagan—and with Vice President George H. W. Bush—on some of their most memorable speeches. Noonan shows us the world behind the words, and her sharp, vivid portraits of President Reagan and a host of Washington’s movers and shakers are rendered in inimitable, witty prose. Her priceless account of what it was like to be a speechwriter among bureaucrats, and a woman in the last bastion of male power, makes this a Washington memoir that breaks the mold—as spirited, sensitive, and thoughtful as Peggy Noonan herself.

Parting Shots by Matthew Parris

Title Parting Shots
Author Matthew Parris
Publisher Penguin UK
Release Date 2010-10-07
Category Humor
Total Pages 400
ISBN 9780141962955
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

When leaving a foreign posting, Britain's ambassadors were encouraged to write a valedictory despatch until the practice was abolished in 2006. Unlike the usual style of the diplomatic bag, these last reports from foreign posts were unbuttoned, indiscreet and often very funny. There was much settling of scores, some poking fun of foreigners, a degree of moaning about the privations of Embassy life - and sometimes a bit of serious analysis too. Based on a very successful BBC radio series, Matthew Parris, who once worked for the Foreign Office and had the task of distributing the despatches, and Andrew Bryson have compiled an always entertaining and frequently hilarious volume of the best of them.

Texas Titans by Charles Denyer

Title Texas Titans
Author Charles Denyer
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2020-12-15
Category Politicians
Total Pages 382
ISBN 099876423X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

George H.W. Bush and James A. Baker, III: A Personal and Political Friendship for the Ages The friendship between George H.W. Bush and James A. Baker, III began over fifty years ago on the tennis courts of the Houston Country Club when they found themselves paired as a doubles team, winning back-to-back championships in 1966 and 1967. While both men were admittedly weak servers, Bush was the net-and-volley guy, with Baker holding down the baseline with his groundstroke skills. That same approach of complementary skill sets and teamwork spilled over into their political careers for decades to come. Both men's résumés were legendary. Bush served as a United States congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, chair of the Republican National Committee, US liaison to China, director of Central Intelligence, 43rd vice president, and 41st president of the United States. Baker served as undersecretary of commerce, secretary of the treasury, secretary of state, and White House chief of staff -- twice, while also chairing or playing a lead role in five successive presidential elections for three different candidates from 1976 to 1992. Texas Titans is a story of George Herbert Walker Bush and James Addison Baker, III, two of America's most consequential statesmen of the past fifty years. Two men from opposite areas of the country who found friendship on the tennis courts at the Houston Country Club. Two men who helped transform a world during an era of immense challenges and change. Two men who became -- and still are -- Texas titans. Excerpts from Texas Titans On Bush's Consequential Presidency: A sea of change engulfed the world during Bush's single term as president, testing his resolve like never before as a series of cascading events unfolded. The Berlin Wall -- a symbol of human oppression -- was torn down after thirty years. Saddam Hussein invaded tiny neighboring Kuwait, throwing the Middle East into turmoil and panic. Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, was placed under house arrest in an attempted coup. And the Soviet Union ceased to exist on December 26, 1991. Events no historian or political operative could have accurately predicted, nevertheless, moments in history that placed George Herbert Walker Bush and James Addison Baker, III front and center on the world stage. On the 1992 Presidential Election: Baker admits that the loss "was devastating. He [George H.W. Bush] was devastated by that loss." Baker is also quick to point out that "I read a lot . . . comments, pundits and so forth saying, he lost because he broke his no-new-taxes pledge. That's not why he lost. . . . Everybody ought to get that straight. I ran that campaign, and I saw it every day in the polling. He lost because of a little guy from Dallas, Texas, called Ross Perot, who took nineteen percent of the vote. And we knew from our polling he [Perot] was taking two out of every three votes from us. We got 38, Clinton got 43. You add two-thirds of 19 to 38, and we get 51." On Friendship: "I have always been proud that George Bush used to describe our relationship as one of big brother and little brother. He used to say that one of the things he liked best about me was that I would always tell him what I thought, even when I knew he didn't want to hear it. Then we would have a spirited discussion about that issue." "But he had a very effective way of letting me know when the discussion was over," he continued. "He would look at me and say, 'Baker, if you're so smart, why am I president and you're not?'"

Eleanor by David Michaelis

Title Eleanor
Author David Michaelis
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2021-10-05
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 720
ISBN 9781439192047
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The New York Times bestseller from prizewinning author David Michaelis presents a “stunning” (The Wall Street Journal) breakthrough portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, America’s longest-serving First Lady, an avatar of democracy whose ever-expanding agency as diplomat, activist, and humanitarian made her one of the world’s most widely admired and influential women. In the first single-volume cradle-to-grave portrait in six decades, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis delivers a stunning account of Eleanor Roosevelt’s remarkable life of transformation. An orphaned niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, she converted her Gilded Age childhood of denial and secrecy into an irreconcilable marriage with her ambitious fifth cousin Franklin. Despite their inability to make each other happy, Franklin Roosevelt transformed Eleanor from a settlement house volunteer on New York’s Lower East Side into a matching partner in New York’s most important power couple in a generation. When Eleanor discovered Franklin’s betrayal with her younger, prettier, social secretary, Lucy Mercer, she offered a divorce and vowed to face herself honestly. Here is an Eleanor both more vulnerable and more aggressive, more psychologically aware and sexually adaptable than we knew. She came to accept her FDR’s bond with his executive assistant, Missy LeHand; she allowed her children to live their own lives, as she never could; and she explored her sexual attraction to women, among them a star female reporter on FDR’s first presidential campaign, and younger men. Eleanor needed emotional connection. She pursued deeper relationships wherever she could find them. Throughout her life and travels, there was always another person or place she wanted to heal. As FDR struggled to recover from polio, Eleanor became a voice for the voiceless, her husband’s proxy in the White House. Later, she would be the architect of international human rights and world citizen of the Atomic Age, urging Americans to cope with the anxiety of global annihilation by cultivating a “world mind.” She insisted that we cannot live for ourselves alone but must learn to live together or we will die together. This “absolutely spellbinding,” (The Washington Post) “complex and sensitive portrait” (The Guardian) is not just a comprehensive biography of a major American figure, but the story of an American ideal: how our freedom is always a choice. Eleanor rediscovers a model of what is noble and evergreen in the American character, a model we need today more than ever.

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