An insider’s look at the two years when Senator Ted Kennedy held at bay both Newt Gingrich and his Republican majority: “For those who love politics and care about policy—and those looking for an account of how Washington used to work, Lion of the Senate is pure catnip” (USA TODAY). The November 1994 election swept a new breed of Republicans into control of the United States Congress. Led by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the Republicans were determined to enact a radically conservative agenda that would reshape American government. Some wanted to shut down the government. If Gingrich’s “Contract with America” been enacted, they would have shredded the federal safety net, decimated the federal programs, and struck down the regulatory framework that protects health, safety, and the environment. And, were it not for Ted Kennedy, who had defeated Mitt Romney for his Senate seat in 1994, they would have succeeded. In Lion of the Senate Nick Littlefield and David Nexon describe never-before-disclosed maneuvers of closed-door meetings in which Kennedy galvanized his party, including the two pivotal years, 1995 and 1996, when the Republicans held control of Congress and he fought to preserve the mission of the Democratic Party in the face of the right-wing onslaught. Here is the nitty-gritty of Kennedy’s role, and the details of a fascinating, bare-knuckled, and frequently hilarious fight in the United States Senate. “Compelling…as a story about how the Senate operates—well, how the Senate used to operate—and a story about perhaps the greatest Senate lawmaker of the second half of the twentieth century, Lion of the Senate succeeds” (The Washington Post) as a political lesson for all time. With an introduction by Doris Kearns Goodwin, this is “a fine rendering that deserves a wide readership” (Kirkus Reviews).
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The top domestic policy advisor to Senator Edward Kennedy offers an insider's view of two remarkable years when Kennedy fought to preserve the Democratic mission against Newt Gingrich's contract with America and a Republican majority in both houses. In November 1994 the election swept a new breed of Republicans into control of the United States Congress. Led by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the Republicans were determined to enact a conservative agenda that would reshape American government. Had it not been for Ted Kennedy, they would have succeeded. In 1994, after defending his Senate seat against challenger Mitt Romney, Senator Kennedy came back to Washington to find Democrats, including President Clinton, demoralized and leaning toward “compromises” that would adopt much of the Republican agenda. Undaunted, Kennedy pressed the agenda he would have had his party held power. He rallied the Democrats. He reached across the aisle to craft and pass key progressive legislation. And he stopped the Gingrich revolution in its tracks. The story of Senator Kennedy's successful struggle against the radical conservative agenda has special resonance today, as a resurgent Republican right controls both houses of Congress. Nick Littlefield and David Nexon tell the story of the bare-knuckled and frequently hilarious fight in the United States Senate.
No figure in American public life has had such great expectations thrust upon him, or has responded so poorly. But Ted Kennedy -- the youngest of the Kennedy children and the son who felt the least pressure to satisfy his father's enormous ambitions -- would go on to live a life that no one could have predicted: dismissed as a spent force in politics by the time he reached middle age, Ted became the most powerful senator of the last half century and the nation's keeper of traditional liberalism. As Peter S. Canellos and his team of Boston Globe reporters show in this revealing and intimate biography, the gregarious, pudgy, and least academically successful of the Kennedy boys has witnessed greater tragedy and suffered greater pressure than any of his siblings. At the age of thirty-six, Ted Kennedy found himself the last brother, the champion of a generation's dreams and ambitions. He would be expected to give the nation the confidence to confront its problems and to build a fairer society at home and abroad. He quickly failed in spectacular fashion. Late one night in the summer of 1969, he left the scene of a fatal automobile accident on Chappaquiddick Island. The death there of a young woman from his brother's campaign would haunt and ultimately doom his presidential ambitions. Political rivals turned his all-too-human failings -- drinking, philandering, and divorce -- into a condemnation of his liberal politics. But as the presidency eluded his grasp, Kennedy was finally liberated from the expectations of others, free to become his own man. Once a symbol of youthful folly and nepotism, he transformed himself in his later years into a symbol of wisdom and perseverance. He built a deeply loving marriage with his second wife, Victoria Reggie. He embraced his role as the family patriarch. And as his health failed, he anointed the young and ambitious presidential candidate Barack Obama, whom many commentators compared to his brother Jack. The Kennedy brand of liberalism was rediscovered by a new generation of Americans. Perceptive and carefully reported, drawing heavily from candid interviews with the Kennedy family and inner circle, Last Lion captures magnificently the life and historic achievements of Ted Kennedy, as well as the personal redemption that he found.
"The epic, definitive biography of Ted Kennedy--an immersive journey through the life of a complicated man and a sweeping history of the fall of liberalism and the collapse of political morality. Edward M. Kennedy was never expected to succeed. The youngest of nine, he lacked his brothers' natural gifts and easy grace. Yet after winning election to the Senate at the tender age of thirty, he became the most consequential legislator of his lifetime, perhaps even American history. Surviving the traumas of his brothers' assassinations, Ted Kennedy ultimately exerted the greatest effort keeping alive the mission of an active and caring government. He swept into the Senate at the high-water mark of the mid-century New Deal consensus and fulfilled the promise of that momentum throughout his glory years in the Senate as the booming voice of American liberalism. That voice found its greatest impact in the laws he passed that wove government firmly into American life, extending aid and opportunity to those in most desperate need. Two thousand pieces of legislation, ranging from health care to education to civil rights, bore Ted's fingerprints. He worked tirelessly to better people's lives, even after the Reagan-era push for limited government rewrote the contract between nation and citizens. He did this because he felt he owed it to those who suffered, and those with whom he empathized out of his own pain and ever-present sense of inadequacy. But Ted Kennedy was not immune to the darkness that plagued his family. He lived long enough to fail, to sin, to fall in and out of favor. The infamous incident at Chappaquiddick marked an unfortunate turning point in the youngest Kennedy's life, and it would not be his last brush with controversy. As his personal failures compounded in the public eye, he struggled to maintain the traction that had carried his agenda so far. The product of a decade of work and hundreds of interviews, Catching the Wind will be an essential work of history and biography. The first of two volumes in a sweeping narrative, it traces the extraordinary life of an American statesman from his early years through the turning point of the 1970s. It is a landmark study of legislative genius and a powerful exploration of the man who spent his career upholding his mandate in service of a better America"--
From Senator Al Franken - #1 bestselling author and beloved SNL alum -- comes the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that. "Flips the classic born-in-a-shack rise to political office tale on its head. I skipped meals to read this book - also unusual - because every page was funny. It made me deliriously happy." -- Louise Erdrich, The New York Times This is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics. Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves.
In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Edward M. Kennedy tells his extraordinary personal story--of his legendary family, politics, and fifty years at the center of national events. TRUE COMPASS The youngest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, he came of age among siblings from whom much was expected. As a young man, he played a key role in the presidential campaign of his brother John F. Kennedy, recounted here in loving detail. In 1962 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he began a fascinating political education and became a legislator. In this historic memoir, Ted Kennedy takes us inside his family, re-creating life with his parents and brothers and explaining their profound impact on him. For the first time, he describes his heartbreak and years of struggle in the wake of their deaths. Through it all, he describes his work in the Senate on the major issues of our time--civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, the quest for peace in Northern Ireland--and the cause of his life: improved health care for all Americans, a fight influenced by his own experiences in hospitals. His life has been marked by tragedy and perseverance, a love of family, and an abiding faith. There have been controversies, too, and Kennedy addresses them with unprecedented candor. At midlife, embattled and uncertain if he would ever fall in love again, he met the woman who changed his life, Victoria Reggie Kennedy. Facing a tough reelection campaign against an aggressive challenger named Mitt Romney, Kennedy found a new voice and began one of the great third acts in American politics, sponsoring major legislation, standing up for liberal principles, and making the pivotal endorsement of Barack Obama for president. Hundreds of books have been written about the Kennedys. TRUE COMPASS will endure as the definitive account from a member of America's most heralded family, an inspiring legacy to readers and to history, and a deeply moving story of a life like no other.
When the president is kidnapped during his ski holiday in Colorado, disavowed Secret Service Agent Scott Harvath is his only hope of rescue. Tracking the kidnapper to Switzerland, and with the ambitious Claudia Muehler of the Swiss Federal Attorney's Office to assist him, the pair are forced to go it alone as they realise the kidnapping plot reaches some of the highest levels of the Swiss Intelligence community. In a race against time, they must scale the treacherous heights of Mt. Pilatus, uncover a hidden military fortress secreted beneath its peak, and defeat the formidable force that stands between them and the safe return of the president - the deadly men known as the Lions of Lucerne. Look out for the adrenaline-fuelled new Brad Thor novel, Code of Conduct, published in July 2015!
This informative and engaging addition to the Childhood of Famous Americans series provides a fascinating look at the boyhood and background of Teddy Kennedy, who, in addition to being the youngest brother of former President John F. Kennedy and the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, grew up to be a revered and beloved senior Democratic senator from Massachusetts.
The definitive biography of a larger-than-life president who defied norms, divided a nation, and changed Washington forever Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson’s election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding force in American politics. Democracy made its stand in the Jackson years, and he gave voice to the hopes and the fears of a restless, changing nation facing challenging times at home and threats abroad. To tell the saga of Jackson’s presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House. Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, he details the human drama–the family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers– that shaped Jackson’s private world through years of storm and victory. One of our most significant yet dimly recalled presidents, Jackson was a battle-hardened warrior, the founder of the Democratic Party, and the architect of the presidency as we know it. His story is one of violence, sex, courage, and tragedy. With his powerful persona, his evident bravery, and his mystical connection to the people, Jackson moved the White House from the periphery of government to the center of national action, articulating a vision of change that challenged entrenched interests to heed the popular will– or face his formidable wrath. The greatest of the presidents who have followed Jackson in the White House–from Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt to FDR to Truman–have found inspiration in his example, and virtue in his vision. Jackson was the most contradictory of men. The architect of the removal of Indians from their native lands, he was warmly sentimental and risked everything to give more power to ordinary citizens. He was, in short, a lot like his country: alternately kind and vicious, brilliant and blind; and a man who fought a lifelong war to keep the republic safe–no matter what it took.