Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden
A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose

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It's hard not to feel for Biden, who exudes humanity throughout the book. He lays bare his emotions and vulnerabilities at losing a son with so much promise, which is made even more difficult by the understanding that Biden has faced unthinkable tragedy before.
-NPR

Synopsis

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.

 

About Joe Biden

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Joe Biden was first elected to the United States Senate in 1972 at the age of twenty-nine and is recognized as one of the nation’s most powerful and influential voices on foreign relations, terrorism, drug policy, and crime prevention. Senator Biden grew up in New Castle County, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware and the Syracuse University College of Law. Since 1991, Biden has been an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on constitutional law. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published November 14, 2017 by Flatiron Books. 264 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Domenico Montanaro on Nov 14 2017

It's hard not to feel for Biden, who exudes humanity throughout the book. He lays bare his emotions and vulnerabilities at losing a son with so much promise, which is made even more difficult by the understanding that Biden has faced unthinkable tragedy before.

Read Full Review of Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Ho... | See more reviews from NPR

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