Fall 2010 Political Book Preview

Fall 2010 Political Memoirs

There are so many memoirs from former politicians—including two former US Presidents—releasing this fall that I decided to compile them all into one list. The most anticipated is George W. Bush’s Decision Points, which had an initial printing of 1.5 million copies. There are quite a few more that I think you’ll be interested in, so check them out.

A Journey: My Political Life by Tony Blair
Available Now (Order on Amazon)

A Journey: My Political Life by Tony Blair

From the publisher:
Tony Blair is a politician who defines our times. His emergence as Labour Party leader in 1994 marked a seismic shift in British politics. Within a few short years, he had transformed his party and rallied the country behind him, becoming prime minister in 1997 with the biggest victory in Labour’s history, and bringing to an end eighteen years of Conservative government. He took Labour to a historic three terms in office as Britain’s dominant political figure of the last two decades.

A Journey is Tony Blair’s firsthand account of his years in office and beyond. Here he describes for the first time his role in shaping our recent history, from the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death to the war on terror. He reveals the leadership decisions that were necessary to reinvent his party, the relationships with colleagues including Gordon Brown, the grueling negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland, the implementation of the biggest reforms to public services in Britain since 1945, and his relationships with leaders on the world stage—Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush. He analyzes the belief in ethical intervention that led to his decisions to go to war in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and, most controversially of all, in Iraq.

A Journey is a book about the nature and uses of political power. In frank, unflinching, often wry detail, Tony Blair charts the ups and downs of his career to provide insight into the man as well as the politician and statesman. He explores the challenges of leadership, and the ramifications of standing up, clearly and forcefully, for what one believes in. He also looks ahead, to emerging power relationships and economies, addressing the vital issues and complexities of our global world.

Few British prime ministers have shaped the nation’s course as profoundly as Tony Blair, and his achievements and his legacy will be debated for years to come. Here, uniquely, we have his own journey, in his own words.

Dirty Sexy Politics by Meghan McCain
Available Now (Order on Amazon)

Dirty Sexy Politics by Meghan McCain

From the publisher:
Meghan McCain came to prominence as the straight-talking, progressive daughter of the 2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain. And her profile has only risen since the election ended in favor of the other guy.

What makes Meghan so appealing? As a new role model for young, creative, and vocal members of the GOP, she’s unafraid to mix it up and speak her mind. In Dirty Sexy Politics she takes a hard look at the future of her party. She doesn’t shy away from serious issues and her raucous humor and down-to-earth style keep her positions accessible.

In this witty, candid, and boisterous book, Meghan takes us deep behind the scenes of the campaign trail. She steals campaign signs in New Hampshire, tastes the nightlife in Nashville, and has a strange encounter with Laura and Jenna Bush at the White House. Along the way, she falls in love with America–while seeing how far the Republican Party has veered from its core values of freedom, honesty, and individuality. In Dirty Sexy Politics, Meghan McCain gives us a true insider’s account of life on a campaign trail.

White House Diary by Jimmy Carter
Available September 20, 2010 (Order on Amazon)

White House Diary by Jimmy Carter

From the publisher:
The edited, annotated diary of President Jimmy Carter—filled with insights into his presidency, his relationships with friends and foes, and his lasting impact on issues that still preoccupy America and the world

Each day during his presidency, Jimmy Carter made several entries in a private diary, recording his thoughts, impressions, delights, and frustrations. He offered unvarnished assessments of cabinet members, congressmen, and foreign leaders; he narrated the progress of secret negotiations such as those that led to the Camp David Accords. When his four-year term came to an end in early 1981, the diary amounted to more than five thousand pages. But this extraordinary document has never been made public—until now.

By carefully selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided us with an astonishingly intimate view of his presidency. Day by day, we see his forceful advocacy for nuclear containment, sustainable energy, human rights, and peace in the Middle East. We witness his interactions with such complex personalities as Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Joe Biden, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin. We get the inside story of his so-called “malaise speech,” his bruising battle for the 1980 Democratic nomination, and the Iranian hostage crisis. Remarkably, we also get Carter’s retrospective comments on these topics and more: thirty years after the fact, he has annotated the diary with his candid reflections on the people and events that shaped his presidency, and on the many lessons learned.

Carter is now widely seen as one of the truly wise men of our time. Offering an unprecedented look at both the man and his tenure, this fascinating book will stand as a unique contribution to the history of the American presidency.

Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle by Ingrid Betancourt
Available September 21, 2010 (Order on Amazon)

Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle by Ingrid Betancourt

From the publisher:
Ingrid Betancourt tells the story of her captivity in the Colombian jungle, sharing powerful teachings of resilience, resistance, and faith.

Born in Bogotá, raised in France, Ingrid Betancourt at the age of thirty-two gave up a life of comfort and safety to return to Colombia to become a political leader in a country that was being slowly destroyed by terrorism, violence, fear, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. In 2002, while campaigning as a candidate in the Colombian presidential elections, she was abducted by the FARC. Nothing could have prepared her for what came next. She would spend the next six and a half years in the depths of the jungle as a prisoner of the FARC. Even Silence Has an End is her deeply personal and moving account of that time. Chained day and night for much of her captivity, she never stopped dreaming of escape and, in fact, succeeded in getting away several times, always to be recaptured. In her most successful effort she and a fellow captive survived a week away, but were caught when her companion became desperately ill; she learned later that they had been mere miles from freedom.

The facts of her story are astounding, but it is Betancourt’s indomitable spirit that drives this very special account, bringing life, nuance, and profundity to the narrative. Attending as intimately to the landscape of her mind as she does to the events of her capture and captivity, Even Silence Has an End is a meditation on the very stuff of life-fear and freedom, hope and what inspires it. Betancourt tracks her metamorphosis, sharing how in the routines she established for herself-listening to her mother and two children broadcast to her over the radio, daily prayer-she was able to do the unthinkable: to move through the pain of the moment and find a place of serenity.

Freed in 2008 by the Colombian army, today Betancourt is determined to draw attention to the plight of hostages and victims of terrorism throughout the world and it is that passion that motivates Even Silence Has an End. The lessons she offers here-in courage, resilience, and humanity-are gifts to treasure.

Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward
Available September 27, 2010 (Order on Amazon)

Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward

Ok, this one isn’t a memoir, but it is a highly anticipated inside look at the Obama administration. According to a Simon & Schuster press release:

“Woodward has written the most intimate and sweeping portrait of Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret war in Pakistan and the worldwide fight against terrorism. Drawing on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president, Woodward offers an original, you-are-there account of Obama and his team in this time of turmoil and uncertainty.”

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela with a foreword by Barack Obama
Available October 11, 2010 (Order on Amazon)

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela with a foreword by Barack Obama

From the publisher:
Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.

A singular international publishing event, Conversations with Myself draws on Mandela’s personal archive of never-before-seen materials to offer unique access to the private world of an incomparable world leader. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the postapartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency—a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together into a sweeping narrative of great immediacy and stunning power. An intimate journey from Mandela’s first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself illuminates a heroic life forged on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice.

While other books have recounted Mandela’s life from the vantage of the present, Conversations with Myself allows, for the first time, unhindered insight into the human side of the icon.

Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice
Available October 12, 2010 (Order on Amazon)

Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice

From the publisher:
Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist. Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to protect the country in the aftermath of 9-11, to becoming only the second woman – and the first black woman ever — to serve as Secretary of State.

But until she was 25 she never learned to swim.

Not because she wouldn’t have loved to, but because when she was a little girl in Birmingham, Alabama, Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor decided he’d rather shut down the city’s pools than give black citizens access.

Throughout the 1950’s, Birmingham’s black middle class largely succeeded in insulating their children from the most corrosive effects of racism, providing multiple support systems to ensure the next generation would live better than the last. But by 1963, when Rice was applying herself to her fourth grader’s lessons, the situation had grown intolerable. Birmingham was an environment where blacks were expected to keep their head down and do what they were told — or face violent consequences. That spring two bombs exploded in Rice’s neighborhood amid a series of chilling Klu Klux Klan attacks. Months later, four young girls lost their lives in a particularly vicious bombing.

So how was Rice able to achieve what she ultimately did?

Her father, John, a minister and educator, instilled a love of sports and politics. Her mother, a teacher, developed Condoleezza’s passion for piano and exposed her to the fine arts. From both, Rice learned the value of faith in the face of hardship and the importance of giving back to the community. Her parents’ fierce unwillingness to set limits propelled her to the venerable halls of Stanford University, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the university’s second-in-command. An expert in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs, she played a leading role in U.S. policy as the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union disintegrated. Less than a decade later, at the apex of the hotly contested 2000 presidential election, she received the exciting news – just shortly before her father’s death – that she would go on to the White House as the first female National Security Advisor.

As comfortable describing lighthearted family moments as she is recalling the poignancy of her mother’s cancer battle and the heady challenge of going toe-to-toe with Soviet leaders, Rice holds nothing back in this remarkably candid telling. This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl – and a young woman — trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world and of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community, that made all the difference.

Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform by Tom Daschle and David Nather
Available October 12, 2010 (Order on Amazon)

Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform by Tom Daschle and David Nather

From the publisher:

Senator Tom Daschle’s narrative of what went on behind the scenes in the making of the new health care legislation delivers a powerful lesson in the workings of American politics.

The evolution of health care reform was drawn-out, frustrating, and complicated, but Senator Tom Daschle is the ideal person to recount the process. His account will guide you through the entire story, from the earliest presidential campaign debates — and his firsthand experiences in the Obama team — through the battles on Capitol Hill to solve our most serious health care problems. Not simply a book about policy, Daschle’s narrative describes in vivid detail how fragile the support in Congress was at every step of the way, as well as the frantic efforts to design a rescue strategy before time ran out.

Combining his insights as a health care expert and his political expertise, this is the inside story about how the new legislation came together: from the persistence of President Obama to the subsequent efforts–and counter efforts–within the Senate and the House. In Daschle’s hands, this becomes a dramatic personal story and a remarkable lesson in politics at the highest level.

Decision Points by George W. Bush
Available November 9, 2010 (Order on Amazon)

Decision Points by George W. Bush

From the publisher:
President George W. Bush describes the critical decisions of his presidency and personal life.

Decision Points is the extraordinary memoir of America’s 43rd president. Shattering the conventions of political autobiography, George W. Bush offers a strikingly candid journey through the defining decisions of his life.

In gripping, never-before-heard detail, President Bush brings readers inside the Texas Governor’s Mansion on the night of the hotly contested 2000 election; aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America’s most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq; and behind the Oval Office desk for his historic and controversial decisions on the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan, Iran, and other issues that have shaped the first decade of the 21st century.

President Bush writes honestly and directly about his flaws and mistakes, as well as his accomplishments reforming education, treating HIV/AIDS in Africa, and safeguarding the country amid chilling warnings of additional terrorist attacks. He also offers intimate new details on his decision to quit drinking, discovery of faith, and relationship with his family.

A groundbreaking new brand of memoir, Decision Points will captivate supporters, surprise critics, and change perspectives on one of the most consequential eras in American history – and the man at the center of events.

America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag by Sarah Palin
Available November 23, 2010 (Order on Amazon)

America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag by Sarah Palin

From the publisher:
In the fall of 2009, with the publication of her #1 national bestselling memoir, Sarah Palin had the privilege of meeting thousands of everyday Americans on her extraordinary 35-city book tour. Inspired by these encounters, her new book, AMERICA BY HEART: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, celebrates the enduring strengths and virtues that have made this country great.

Framed by her strong belief in the importance of family, faith, and patriotism, the book ranges widely over American history, culture, and current affairs, and reflects on the key values—both national and spiritual-that have been such a profound part of Governor Palin’s life and continue to inform her vision of America’s future. Written in her own refreshingly candid voice, AMERICA BY HEART will include selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her-from the nation’s founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography, and even some of her favorite songs and movies. Here, too, are portraits of some of the extraordinary men and women she admires and who embody her deep love of country, her strong rootedness in faith, and her profound love and appreciation of family. She will also draw from personal experience to amplify these timely (and timeless) themes—themes that are sure to inspire her numerous fans and readers all across the country.

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

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  • David

    Wow I feel ashamed but after reading the above I want the Blair and the Dubbya books….eek.

    As a Brit I actually voted for Blair twice and realliy liked him up to a point were he went against everything th labour party stood for. Would be interesting to hear his story.

    Thanks for the post!!

    • http://www.daemonsbooks.com/author/kristen Kristen

      Did you hear he’s being accused of plagiarizing the line from the movie The Queen? He says Queen Elizabeth said to him: “You are my 10th prime minister. The first was Winston. That was before you were born.” Ha! It is a good line.