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Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Newly updated, the definitive biography of the forty-seventh Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, which examines the fascinating life of a man who has shaped Washington politics for more than four decades, including his years in the Obama White House.

Raised in the working-class towns of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, and with lackluster grades
Paperback, 576 pages
Expected publication: September 24th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published October 5th 2010)
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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  71 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Sara Goldenberg
It was OK. A little bit boring due to the over emphasis of details, as noted by another reviewer. Also, this book is ten years old which is a long time in the life of an active politician. Was glad that it wasn't the only book I read about him, in order to learn something about him.
As a native of Delaware, I admire Joe Biden. He inspires me I'm proud to be from his state. This is especially because we went to the same grade school (St. Helena's) - a point the book finally confirmed after years of my hoping that it was true. The book has many other interesting details about Biden's life and career, including an exploration of the speech that led to his dropping out of the 1988 Democratic nomination process. Biden is a man who speaks bluntly and at length, and several exampl ...more
Sonia Wilson
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, politics
I’m giving this book an extra star due solely to its subject. I adore Joe Biden; unfortunately this book imperfectly captures the dynamic life referenced in the title. The facts are all there, but they are accompanied by minimal analysis of where they fit into the political and cultural landscape. Many chapters read like extended Wikipedia articles. The presentation is at times extremely clunky, and further suffers from the heavy-handed stitching together of material from other books. Neverthele ...more
Fredrick Danysh
A political puff piece on Vice_president Joe Biden as he readies himself for a run for the presidency in 2016. Plays up Biden's political nature [make deals to gain power and votes]. While a nominal Catholic he has endorsed attacks on religious beliefs with his support of abortion and same sex marriage. These issues are put forth in a manner that seems favorable to Biden. His attacks on the Bill of Rights are ignored and the accusations of plagiarism while in college are down played. The story o ...more
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Atlantic profiled Joe Biden around the time I was reading this book. Mark Bowden's piece ("The Salesman"), struck me as ungenerous, and somewhat shallow. But it was an interesting contrast to Jules Whitcover's adulation. Joe Biden does seem to have had a very interesting life but this book was so eager to make a "great narrative" of the hero's ascent and struggle (or more precisely, his "trial and redemption") that it failed to fully humanize him.
Ann Cardwell
I like Joe Biden a lot, and wanted to read this bio. But it was so boring that it took me 3 weeks to finish it. There was too much of what I already know, and too many details of legislative policy. I thoroughly enjoyed his personal story and his handling of the Bork and Clarence Thomas hearings, but that was all.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Biden's story has elements of tragedy and comedy, farce and triumph. In many ways he's an anachronism. His brand of retail politics doesn't work as well in the twitter-verse. Still, he's an accomplished and extremely savvy politician who showed true leadership in the Senate for many years.
Chris Aylott
Competent biography that covers the events of Biden's life without any special depth or insight. There are quite a few references to Biden's book Promises to Keep, and that book sounds like it might be the more interesting read.
Harry Lane
Should have been a good book, but somehow never rises much above dull. Didn't finish.
Not my favorite read, but not bad either. I found the information about his family to be most interesting; his politics? Not so much.
Anthony Bergen
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review in AND Magazine:
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-reads
You could have just read the epilogue to get his story.
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