Promise me, dad : a year of hope, hardship, and purpose

by Biden, Joseph R.,

Format: Print Book 2017.
Availability: Available at 38 Libraries 43 of 56 copies
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Summary

The Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

"Promise Me, Dad is a brisk, often uplifting read, a consequence of its author's congenital jollity and irrepressible candor."
- Vanity Fair

A deeply moving memoir about the year that would forever change both a family and a country.

In November 2014, thirteen members of the Biden family gathered on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, a tradition they had been celebrating for the past forty years; it was the one constant in what had become a hectic, scrutinized, and overscheduled life. The Thanksgiving holiday was a much-needed respite, a time to connect, a time to reflect on what the year had brought, and what the future might hold. But this year felt different from all those that had come before. Joe and Jill Biden's eldest son, Beau, had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor fifteen months earlier, and his survival was uncertain. "Promise me, Dad," Beau had told his father. "Give me your word that no matter what happens, you're going to be all right." Joe Biden gave him his word.

Promise Me, Dad chronicles the year that followed, which would be the most momentous and challenging in Joe Biden's extraordinary life and career. Vice President Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq. When a call came from New York, or Capitol Hill, or Kyiv, or Baghdad--"Joe, I need your help"--he responded. For twelve months, while Beau fought for and then lost his life, the vice president balanced the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family. And never far away was the insistent and urgent question of whether he should seek the presidency in 2016.

The year brought real triumph and accomplishment, and wrenching pain. But even in the worst times, Biden was able to lean on the strength of his long, deep bonds with his family, on his faith, and on his deepening friendship with the man in the Oval Office, Barack Obama.

Writing with poignancy and immediacy, Joe Biden allows readers to feel the urgency of each moment, to experience the days when he felt unable to move forward as well as the days when he felt like he could not afford to stop.

This is a book written not just by the vice president, but by a father, grandfather, friend, and husband. Promise Me, Dad is a story of how family and friendships sustain us and how hope, purpose, and action can guide us through the pain of personal loss into the light of a new future.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* In 2013, Joe Biden's son, Beau, was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer. A vibrant man in his early forties, Beau was diagnosed at the height of his professional and personal powers. As attorney general for the state of Delaware, Beau was on a political path that could have taken him to the state's governor's mansion and, ultimately, the White House. A husband and father of two young children, his family's future was even more essential to him than his civic responsibilities. And, of course, as the son of vice president Joe Biden, Beau's relationship with his father was the epitome of symbiotic closeness. Set against the backdrop of the final years of his vice presidency, Biden's memoir of his son's battle with cancer is a spare yet sturdy chronicle of how one family, one very public family, coped with the reality of a monumental health crisis as privately and seamlessly as possible. Having endured the deaths of his wife and daughter when he was 30, Biden knew the galvanizing sorrow that awaited his family and the gnawing anticipation of repeating that smothering pain was something Biden struggled to keep at bay.Biden weaves the narrative of Beau's decline with the global events that equally required his attention. Violence in the Ukraine and Iraq mirrors the combative forces taking over Beau's body. For every battlefield skirmish lost, there was an equal fight against an aggressive tumor. For every diplomatic dustup, there was a backsliding on Beau's road to recovery. Biden is that rarity among politicians, a man of his word. So when Beau implored him to stay engaged with his life's work, there was no doubt that Biden would continue to meet his commitments and accept new challenges. Given its dual focus on his political accomplishments, some may see this memoir as a preamble to a future presidential run. To do so would be to diminish its intent. Written without an ounce of self-pity, it serves instead as an homage to a man Biden admired above all others and offers a passionate ray of hope to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one with the reassuring message that there is, indeed, a way through their grief.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "America's 47th vice president revisits his son Beaus's 2015 death from cancer while burnishing his own political capital in this heartfelt but not uncalculated memoir. Biden (Promises to Keep) begins in late 2014, when his son Beau fought a harrowing battle with brain cancer through deepening disability, fleeting rallies, and experimental treatments. Biden tells this tragic story with genuine pathos, but in between the family gatherings and hospital vigils, he spotlights his central role in coping with public crises, including Russia's incursion into Ukraine, ISIS's rise, and domestic flare-ups of racial violence. Biden emerges as a statesman both steely-eyed ("I don't think you have a soul," he tells Vladimir Putin) and dependable ("'Joe,' said the new prime minister of Iraq, 'I need your help'") while he expresses sympathy for ordinary folks; he even gives a policeman's widow his private phone number to call when she feels sad. Threaded throughout is Biden's agonized vacillation over a 2016 presidential run, complete with encomiums to his fitness for the presidency and an outline of the platform he would have run on had he not decided against it. This sincere recollection of loss intermittently feels like a 2020 campaign biography. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Subjects Biden, Joseph R.
Biden, Beau, -- 1969-2015.
Vice-Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
Fathers and sons -- United States -- Biography.
Cancer -- Patients -- United States -- Biography.
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 2016.
United States -- Politics and government -- 2009-2017.
Autobiographies.
Publisher New York :2017.
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 260 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781250171672
1250171679
Other Classic View