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The Man Who Ran Washington by Peter Baker
Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fortune and 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.
Kremlin Rising by Peter Baker
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.
The Great Rift by James Mann
The Great Rift is a sweeping history of the intertwined careers of Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, whose rivalry and conflicting views of U.S. national security color our political debate to this day. Dick Cheney and Colin Powell emerged on the national scene more than thirty years ago, and it is easy to forget that they were once allies. The two men collaborated closely in the successful American wars in Panama and Iraq during the presidency of George H. W. Bush--but from this pinnacle, conflicts of ideology and sensibility drove them apart. Returning to government service under George W. Bush in 2001, they (and their respective allies within the administration) fell into ever-deepening antagonism over the role America should play in a world marked by terrorism and other nontraditional threats. In a wide-ranging, deeply researched, and dramatic narrative, James Mann explores each man’s biography and philosophical predispositions to show how and why this deep and permanent rupture occurred. Through dozens of original interviews and surprising revelations from presidential archives, he brings to life the very human story of how this influential friendship turned so sour and how the enmity of these two powerful men colored the way America acts in the world.
Days Of Fire by Peter Baker
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.
The Hardest Job In The World by John Dickerson
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. “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.”
Washington by Ron Chernow
A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical. Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods. Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography Ron Chernow's new biography, Grant, will be published by Penguin Press in October 2017. “Truly magnificent… [a] well-researched, well-written and absolutely definitive biography” –Andrew Roberts, The Wall Street Journal “Superb… the best, most comprehensive, and most balanced single-volume biography of Washington ever written.” –Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books “A truly gripping biography of George Washington... I can’t recommend it highly enough—as history, as epic, and, not least, as entertainment. It’s as luxuriantly pleasurable as one of those great big sprawling, sweeping Victorian novels.” –Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway musical Hamilton has sparked new interest in the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. In addition to Alexander Hamilton, the production also features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr, Lafayette, and many more.
Saving Justice by James Comey
James Comey, former FBI Director and New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Loyalty, uses his long career in federal law enforcement to explore issues of justice and fairness in the US justice system. James Comey might best be known as the FBI director that Donald Trump fired in 2017, but he’s had a long, varied career in the law and justice system. He knows better than most just what a force for good the US justice system can be, and how far afield it has strayed during the Trump Presidency. In his much-anticipated follow-up to A Higher Loyalty, Comey uses anecdotes and lessons from his career to show how the federal justice system works. From prosecuting mobsters as an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York in the 1980s to grappling with the legalities of anti-terrorism work as the Deputy Attorney General in the early 2000s to, of course, his tumultuous stint as FBI director beginning in 2013, Comey shows just how essential it is to pursue the primacy of truth for federal law enforcement. Saving Justice is gracefully written and honestly told, a clarion call for a return to fairness and equity in the law.
The Politics Of Diplomacy by James A. Baker, III
The Secretary of State for the Bush administration recounts his efforts at diplomacy during his time in office, from the fall of the U.S.S.R. to the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord
True Crimes And Misdemeanors by Jeffrey Toobin
From CNN chief legal analyst and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, a real-life legal thriller about the prosecutors and congressional investigators pursuing the truth about Donald Trump's complicity in several crimes--and why they failed. Donald Trump's campaign chairman went to jail. So did his personal lawyer. His long-time political consigliere was convicted of serious federal crimes, and his national security advisor pled guilty to others. Several Russian spies were indicted in absentia. Career intelligence agents and military officers were alarmed enough by the president's actions that they alerted senior government officials and ignited the impeachment process. Yet despite all this, a years-long inquiry led by special counsel Robert Mueller, and the third impeachment of a president in American history, Donald Trump survived to run for re-election. Why? Jeffrey Toobin's highly entertaining definitive account of the Mueller investigation and the impeachment of the president takes readers behind the scenes of the epic legal and political struggle to call Trump to account for his misdeeds. With his superb storytelling and analytic skills Toobin recounts all the mind-boggling twists and turns in the case--Trump's son met with a Russian operative promising Kremlin support! Trump paid a porn star $130,000 to hush up an affair! Rudy Giuliani and a pair of shady Ukrainian-American businessmen got the Justice Department to look at Russian-created conspiracy theories! Toobin shows how Trump's canny lawyers used Mueller's famous integrity against him, and how Trump's bullying and bluster cowed Republican legislators into ignoring the clear evidence of the impeachment hearings. Based on dozens of interviews with prosecutors in Mueller's office, Trump's legal team, Congressional investigators, White House staffers, and several of the key players, including some who are now in prison, True Crimes and Misdemeanors is a revelatory narrative that makes sense of the seemingly endless chaos of the Trump years. Filled with never-before-reported details of the high-stakes legal battles and political machinations, the book weaves a tale of a rogue president guilty of historic misconduct, and how he got away with it.
A Children S Bible A Novel by Lydia Millet
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by Apple Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and The Week An indelible novel of teenage alienation and adult complacency in an unraveling world. Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s sublime new novel—her first since the National Book Award long-listed Sweet Lamb of Heaven—follows a group of twelve eerily mature children on a forced vacation with their families at a sprawling lakeside mansion. Contemptuous of their parents, who pass their days in a stupor of liquor, drugs, and sex, the children feel neglected and suffocated at the same time. When a destructive storm descends on the summer estate, the group’s ringleaders—including Eve, who narrates the story—decide to run away, leading the younger ones on a dangerous foray into the apocalyptic chaos outside. As the scenes of devastation begin to mimic events in the dog-eared picture Bible carried around by her beloved little brother, Eve devotes herself to keeping him safe from harm. A Children’s Bible is a prophetic, heartbreaking story of generational divide—and a haunting vision of what awaits us on the far side of Revelation.