"Nearly forty years after I first got involved, I remain captivated
by the possibilities of politics and public service. In fact, I
believe that my chosen profession is a noble calling. That's why I
wanted to be a part of it."
As a United States senator from Delaware since 1973, Joe Biden has
been an intimate witness to the major events of the past four
decades and a relentless actor in trying to shape recent American
history. He has seen up close the tragic mistake of the Vietnam
War, the Watergate and Iran-contra scandals, the fall of the Berlin
Wall, the reunification of Germany, the disintegration of the
Soviet Union, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a presidential
impeachment, a presidential resignation, and a presidential
election decided by the Supreme Court. He's observed Nixon, Ford,
Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and two Bushes wrestling with the
presidency; he's traveled to war zones in Europe, the Middle East,
and Africa and seen firsthand the devastation of genocide. He
played a vital role by standing up to Ronald Reagan's effort to
seat Judge Robert Bork on the Supreme Court, fighting for
legislation that protects women against domestic violence, and
galvanizing America's response (and the world's) to Slobodan
Milosevic's genocidal march in the Balkans. In "Promises to Keep,"
Biden reveals what these experiences taught him about himself, his
colleagues, and the institutions of government.
With his customary candor, Biden movingly recounts growing up in a
staunchly Catholic multigenerational household in Scranton,
Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware; overcoming a demoralizing
stutter; marriage, fatherhood, and the tragic death of his wife
Neilia and infant daughter Naomi; remarriage and re-forming a
family with his second wife, Jill; success and failure in the
Senate and on the campaign trail; two life-threatening aneurysms;
his relations with fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle; and
his leadership of powerful Senate committees.
Through these and other recollections, Biden shows us how the
guiding principles he learned early in life-the obligation to work
to make people's lives better, to honor family and faith, to get up
and do the right thing no matter how hard you've been knocked down,
to be honest and straightforward, and, above all, to keep your
promises-are the foundations on which he has based his life's work
as husband, father, and public servant.
"Promises to Keep" is the story of a man who faced down personal
challenges and tragedy to become one of our most effective leaders.
It is also an intimate series of reflections from a public servant
who refuses to be cynical about political leadership, and a
testament to the promise of the United States.
"From the Hardcover edition."
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