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Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,858 ratings  ·  428 reviews
A concise, brilliant, and trenchant examination of Democratic Nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s lifelong quest for the presidency by New Yorker political reporter and National Book Award winner Evan Osnos.

Former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been called both the luckiest man and the unluckiest—fortunate to have sustained a fifty-year political career that reached the
Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published October 6th 2020
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Peter (on hiatus)
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Joe Biden was is US President-elect and will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, on January 20th following the most important, divisive, and insane election in American history. An election that I’m sure psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, politicists and historians will pour over for decades, and that’s without taking into consideration epidemiologists, economists, geoscientists, environmentalists, criminologists and sociopath hunters.

The unpredictable roller
Elyse  Walters by Evan Osnos and David Remnick 4 hrs. 26 minutes Joe R. Biden Jr. *46* President.

This is a quick read - or an afternoon ‘listen’ > think ‘daily briefing’.
.....Osnos gives us a well researched balance view of
Joe - the man....(character, & personal intimate history)
Joe -his long career in politics....(trials and tribulations)
Joe - the possibilities of his visions for the future.

Yesterday’s inauguration was a new beginning.
In Biden’s speech,
“he called for
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have decided to embark on a mission to read a number of books on subjects that will be of great importance to the upcoming 2020 US Presidential Election. Many of these will focus on actors intricately involved in the process, in hopes that I can understand them better and, perhaps, educate others with the power to cast a ballot. I am, as always, open to serious recommendations from anyone who has a book I might like to include in the process.

This is Book #33 in my 2020 US Election Preparation
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A priest is being summoned to deliver Joe Biden his late rites.

This is how the book begins.

If you would have told me I’d be reading a non-fiction book about a politician a year ago, I would have said you were crazy.

This year has me gobbling up every non-fiction book I can get my hands on… and this is one I’m glad I got my hands on.

Back in 2008 when Obama announced who would be his vice president, I was like umm.. who is THIS guy?! For someone who has had such a long political career, I had nev
This short book is a brief biography of Biden's life and political career up to the close of the 2020 presidential election. It gives a balanced view of the man focusing on his positive attributes, the well known tragedies in his life, and his many flaws such as his foot in mouth syndrome. I found the chapter on his vice-presidency interesting. He was a strong defender of Obama even against fellow Democrats who were critical of Obama in Congress. The beef between Biden and former Defense Secreta ...more
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Please note: this review is of the book and not the man himself or his politics. With only a week to go until the US election, I felt I should learn a little more about Biden as a person as I realise I know almost nothing about an individual who could soon be president of one of the world's superpowers. In this concise yet informative portrayal Evan Osnos offers a nuanced, deeply-reported and three-dimensional portrait of Biden and illuminates his long and eventful fifty-year political career an ...more
Hell, I might be president now if it weren't for the fact I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner. Turns out I didn't have anybody in the coal mines, you know what I mean? I tried that crap — it didn't work.
-Joe Biden, interview with Jon Stewart, 2004

Joe Biden may have been one of the most underestimated people in the whole of the 2020 election season. After a string of primary losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, he was left for dead by the media, and some of the voices online were ready to dec
Dec 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This is not a whole book, but a long New Yorker profile with a few extra pages tacked on. I wish it hadn't been rushed to press like this and made into a proper biography. ...more
Ruth Nemzoff
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evan Osnos gives us a balanced picture of Joe Biden. I came into the book knowing only that I preferred Biden to Trump. After reading, I have a clear sense of the man himself, and I am truly excited to vote for such a fine and capable human being!

As a bonus, I found the book itself a delight to read!
Bobby J McDaniel Jr
Oct 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: total-trash
Worst Book ever Written about the most corrupt Politian in History. Extremely bad from Page 1. 100% Garbage. Do not Read
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Joseph R. Biden Jr. dubbed both the luckiest and the unluckiest man.

We know Biden, but we also don’t know much about him so in my quest to find the book about our president elect, I devoured this book, a quick read and great insight about what made him as he is today.

Osnos delivered a deftly written biography of a man whose road to the White House was through an impressive fifty-year political career. In this captivating portrait of a man whose losses, suffering, ambitions, and values , friends
Apr 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
A very short book on the biography of Joe Biden. After dealing with Donald Trump for four years we have stability and honesty instead of Trump's almost apocalyptic doom disaster. This book gave me insight into Joe Biden's background, career and lifetime spent in politics. The result is a portrait of a man that's smart, surefooted, intelligent, experienced and compassionate something we surely have missed for four years. A man who just may be uncannily suited for this moment in history. He has in ...more
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF after 100 pages of disappointment. One of the worst "biographies" I've read so far. And I'm not even sure if this book can officially be viewed as a biography at all.
The first hour is basically about how bad of a person and statesman Donald Trump is and how Joe Biden would be the "better angel", as Steven Pinker would call it.
Also there is no chronological order whatsoever. I felt lost almost the whole time since I didn't know anything about JBs early life and career. The author jumped back
Joe Biden is many things to many people: saviour, traitor, fool, political genius, revolutionary, reactionary... to Evan Osnos, he is simply "an accidental area of expertise". Osnos, you see, had at the time of writing this book, through no fault of his own, met and spoken to the now-President now fewer than four times. With that level of unique subject knowledge, rare among modern journalists, it was perhaps inevitable that he'd write a book on the topic.

And yet, as a reader, I found myself wis
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not a bad biography of Joe Biden
A timely read
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great Bio ! 🎧
Nov 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The information here was really good; its organization and flow were really bad.
In the waning months of 2020, a year that the author of this book Evan Osnos describes with the Latin “annus horribilis,” my friend Troy and I endeavored to complete the most ambitious reading challenge yet attempted by our group of friends: we would read one biography on every US president. Truly an epic undertaking. After all, if self-reporting is to be believed, the average American reads only twelve books a year! Maybe only one of those twelve would be a hefty biographical tome, but we were ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a delight! I'm glad I listened to it and got to know a little more about our President. The author came across pretty balanced- it wasn't all glowing praise. But I did come away with having a more full picture about who Joe Biden is as a person, and what parts of his life are likely to inform the way he'll lead the country. Bonus on audio- the author shares an interview with Biden at the end. ...more
Stefan Fergus
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, short political biography. Gives a great sense of who Biden is - his strengths, insecurities, weaknesses, values.
Wanna read this to learn more about Biden's legendary confrontation with the deadly gangster cornpop. In case you hadn't heard: ...more
Helga Cohen
Joe Biden is a well-researched and enjoyable read by Evan Osnos. Osnos is a staff writer for The New Yorker and National Book and Pulitzer Prize winning author. This biography gives a sense of Biden, his politics and why he would make a good president. Osnos details the storyline of Biden’s life: the car crash that killed his first wife and daughter, his life in the Senate and life with Jill Biden, the aneurysm during his early run for President that almost killed him( quitting this race saved h ...more
Jun 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Even as someone who reads a lot of Presidential History, Joe Biden isn’t terribly exciting to me. Like George Bush (41), I picture him as a successor to a more charismatic Leader. Moderate, respectable with decades of service. I may be wrong, of course. Biden is charting his own path as I write this.

Joe Biden: The Life, The Run and What Matters Now is clearly a money grab for a market that is mostly devoid of Biden books. That said, I don’t mean that as an insult to the author or the book itself
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received an audiobook of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This fact has not impacted my thoughts of the book.

Joe Biden, the president-elect of the United States, is a man I've always been aware of within the political sphere, but as a Brit, knew very little about as a person nor his political track record. As the world turned to watch his teeth grinding win in the 2020 election, it dawned on me I should maybe educate myself more on Biden, his thoughts, life and rec
Hill Krishnan
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As the election finally neared its apotheosis, I wanted to know more about Biden. Listening to this 4-hour portrait seemed a good and manageable place to start.

It is too short to enter into a lot of detail about personal life and the early years and I am sure more detailed and voluminous biographies will appear in the coming years. So, you don't really get to know the person. To me, Biden remains difficult to grasp. An usual combination of being warm, distracted and ambitious at the same time.

Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
v good! joe biden is a politician and not a snuggly old uncle figure! he has a huge task ahead and i’m hoping that we can come together to create some change! go blue team! not michigan
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Concise. Gives me more hope for a Biden presidency than before I read it. All we have now is hope.
Jakub Dovcik
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
This is a much better book than it might seem from the cover or even the combination of the publishing date and topic. It is not some form of glorification for the new president by a loyal sycophant or a campaign material.
Rather, Osnos provides his traditional entertaining, well-researched style of writing on not as much the biography of Joe Biden, but rather most important pieces of his life, times, and issues that were around him - from his start in the civil rights era, through his role in th
Michal Sventek
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Folks, I can tell you I've known eight presidents, three of them intimately."

At first a very good 'intro' to Biden - the biographical parts at the beginning are very good, giving you a very good idea about where he's from, what he's been through and what he's like. I liked the anecdotes from Obama's presidencies and their relationship - same goes for the 2016 election and the run up to it.

But the book's weakness is exactly that. It's just an intro. And sure, that's all good - but some parts I
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Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. He is a correspondent in Washington, D.C. who writes about politics and foreign affairs. He is the author of "Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, May 2014). Based on eight years of living in Beijing, the book traces the rise of the individual in China, and the clash between aspira ...more

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“the streets. That’s not a criticism. It’s just a reality.” A senior Obama administration official observed that Biden’s acknowledgment also contained a subtler message: “This country needs to just chill the fuck out and have a boring president.” 0 likes
“Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families Party, told me, “People said, ‘Oh, this man’s a hack.’ He’s not an ideological person, and ideology clearly matters to us. He was running a retrograde candidacy during the primary. It was all about going back to the track we were on with the Obama years.” Mitchell, who was also a leader in the Movement for Black Lives, said that Biden’s change of tone caught the attention of progressives: “He’s recognizing that this might be a Rooseveltian moment. He’s not all the way there—nobody thinks Joe Biden is a progressive star—but he can be a product of either your most cynical thinking or a product of your most optimistic thinking.” 0 likes
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