Joe Biden: Promises to Keep (2008 campaign memoir)

I just finished Joe Biden’s book Promises to Keep. This book was published in 2007 and ends with his decision to run for President in 2008; we know how that ended up.

The book starts out with the home life stuff; many might find it interesting but I found that part to be a bit of a slog. I found that it picks up when he graduates from Syracuse Law School and worked for a firm which defended a company from a law suit filed by a cruelly injured worker…he expresses remorse that the poor, injured guy would probably come up empty.

And so goes much of the rest of the book. Biden expresses his values via how they came up during some of the big events of his long Senate tenure.

He starts by describing his improbable Senate victory in 1972 (he was previously a county office holder), the tragic death of his wife and child, and his early political battles including:
Vietnam, the Carter administration, the Bork nomination, his failed 1988 campaign (yes, he discussed the plagiarism issue in detail, both the speech and the work in law school), the Violence Against Women Act, Kosovo, (including his meeting with Milošević ), Afghanistan, Iraq and the Bush-Cheney administration.

On a personal note: the description of his brain surgery and recovery from it was interesting.

As far as tone, there are some things that might make the heads of progressives explode:
1. He goes over “law and order/crime” quite a bit.
2. He is a conservative on abortion rights…yes, he is politically pro-choice
3. He also has the attitude that one ought to assume the best motives in those you disagree with (politically). This “those who disagree with me politically are evil and stupid” is NOT his brand.

Personally: I liked the book and learned from it.

Author: oldgote

I enjoy politics, reading, science, running, walking, (racewalking and ultrawalking) hiking, swimming, yoga, weight lifting, cycling and reading. I also follow football (college and pro), basketball (men and women) and baseball (minor league and college)

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