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A concise, brilliant and incisive examination of Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his lifelong quest for the presidency by National Book Award winner and New Yorker staff writer 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 White House, but also marked by deep personal losses that he has suffered.
Yet even as Biden's life has been shaped by drama, it has also been powered by a willingness, rare at the top ranks of politics, to confront his shortcomings, errors and reversals of fortune. His trials have forged in him a deep empathy for others in hardship – an essential quality as he addresses a nation at its most dire hour in decades.
Blending up-close journalism and broader context, Evan Osnos illuminates Biden's life and captures the characters and meaning of an extraordinary presidential election. He draws on lengthy interviews with Biden and on revealing conversations with more than a hundred others, including President Barack Obama, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and a range of progressive activists, advisers, opponents, and Biden family members.
In this nuanced portrait, Biden emerges as flawed, yet resolute, and tempered by the flame of tragedy – a man who just may be uncannily suited for his moment in history.
Author: Evan Osnos
Paperback Published 1 December 2020 192 pages
“Treads back along the trail of horrendous tragedies, dashed hopes and dramatic implosions that preceded Biden's improbable third run at the presidency . . . It is impossible to come away from Osnos's biography without a sense of awe at what Biden has overcome to arrive at this point . . . Osnos has written a fast-paced biography that draws on extensive interviews with his subject, as well as with Obama and a host of Democratic party heavyweights.” – Guardian
“Evan Osnos is an immensely talented reporter . . . Joe Biden ably takes the measure of the man and the politician.” –Washington Post
“There's just something about Joe, as this short biography from New Yorker writer Evan Osnos illustrates. At 77, Biden has overcome unimaginable tribulation, multiple presidential primary humiliations, a potentially crippling speech impediment and his own mediocrity. Now he carries the hopes of billions upon his shoulders . . . Osnos's slim volume . . . is a good primer on the man who could soon be president . . . Eloquent and well-informed.” –Sunday Times