Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life

Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life

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by Bill Richardson
     
 

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Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, may be the most charismatic figure in the Democratic Party today and one of its best natural politicians whose name isn't Bill Clinton. He is the man Colin Powell has called for advice, and the man George Stephanopoulos once called the Red Adair of diplomacy in homage to his ability to put out international fires. He has

Overview

Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, may be the most charismatic figure in the Democratic Party today and one of its best natural politicians whose name isn't Bill Clinton. He is the man Colin Powell has called for advice, and the man George Stephanopoulos once called the Red Adair of diplomacy in homage to his ability to put out international fires. He has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize and is counted as one of our most knowledgeable politicians on Iraq and Saddam Hussein; on Afghanistan, the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda; on North Korea; on energy policy; on Latin American affairs; on domestic politics; and on Hispanic America.  

Richardson's background as the son of an American businessman father and a Mexican mother has offered him an unusual starting point from which to seek a life in public service, but one of his most interesting roles has been that of global troubleshooter. What he has to say about how to negotiate to get what you want shows his true colors: He can be blunt, but charming; tough, but respectful; realistic, but hopeful. Through his work as a hostage negotiator sitting across the table from the likes of Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, and many others-as well as his toil on Capitol Hill, in the United Nations, and New Mexico's state government-he has learned the vital importance of preparation: know as much as possible about your adversary; test your partner's truthfulness; know how much you can concede; never lie and always be direct.   

Between Worlds is the surprising story of one of our most seasoned and captivating national figures.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Richardson's backslapping enthusiasm for public service comes through unfettered in this enjoyable audiobook. Richardson, current governor of New Mexico, has served in Congress, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and President Clinton's energy secretary. A four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, he specializes in hostage-release negotiations with hostile governments and peace talks between warring factions. Richardson's style is blunt, and he's unafraid to paint dynamic pictures of his political accomplishments and entanglements. But his treatment of his Mexican-American background and personal life makes for the most compelling listening, especially the kidnapping of his sister in Mexico City. Richardson's diction is sometimes muffled-syllables swallowed, words rushed out on residual air, and on occasion critical words can be misheard ("vital" comes across as "vile"). But for the most part, this loose, unbridled quality adds a human touch to the narration.. Some listeners may argue this is less political memoir and more extended campaign commercial for a possible presidential run in 2008. But in either case, Richardson's in-your-face manner makes for an engaging listen. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 3). (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Richardson, now governor of New Mexico, joins with journalist Ruby to write an overeager campaign autobiography that is revealing-to a fault. Son of an American businessman father and a Mexican mother, Richardson was born in California, grew up in Mexico City, but moved back to the United States to attend high school and college in the Northeast. After time on Capitol Hill and at the State Department, he moved to New Mexico in 1978 (about the move, he says, "I loaded up our Alfa Romeo," not a common remark from a Democratic politician!). He won his congressional seat there in 1982 and later served President Clinton as UN ambassador and energy secretary. In bold type throughout the book (and repeated unnecessarily in an appendix) are "Richardson's Rules" about diplomacy and politics as team sports, etc., which are trite and unneeded. Thinking ahead to the 2008 Iowa caucuses, he lists many big-name Democrats as mentors or genial adversaries, such as two iconic Iowa liberals, Senators Dick Clark and Tom Harkin. Richardson does have strong foreign-policy credentials, from negotiating with Saddam Hussein to lecturing Castro in Spanish. The book also lists things he wished he had done differently in retrospect (he says he would now have supported the First Gulf War). He is an impressive politician, but in this painfully transparent tome he overstates his case. For the current events sections of public libraries, though it will not last as good literature. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/05.]-Duncan Stewart, Univ. of Iowa Libs., Iowa City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"I love campaigning, honing the message and delivering it to the voters": a political memoir of the sort that usually precedes a bid for the presidency-a possibility the present New Mexico governor surely keeps close to his heart. Richardson is a new, and very well situated, kind of politico: bilingual and bicultural in a nation increasingly both those things, born to a Mexican mother and Anglo father, long resident in Mexico but with an East Coast education, a boomer who didn't partake, let alone inhale, and who missed out on Vietnam but would have gone if asked. He is also a bold and very shrewd practical politician who isn't bashful about unveiling an ultraliberal pedigree. It was Hubert Humphrey who sent him off to New Mexico to bag his first elected office; Bill Clinton who appointed him ambassador to the UN (during which service, among other things, Richardson won a surprising concession from none other than Saddam Hussein); and Al Gore who made noise about sharing the ticket with Richardson in 2004. That pedigree, proudly worn, will likely not earn Richardson points among wealthy, right-leaning Texans, but there's enough pointed politicking in these pages to launch a write-in campaign right now, as Richardson pushes for the preservation of wild places here, talks tough on crime and international outlawry there, faintly praises the sitting president ("Kerry ran a good race. Bush ran a better one; people just liked the guy") and gets in a few digs at members of his own party. Good-natured, self-serving, with useful lessons for budding officeholders (hint: let someone powerful introduce you to your first big crowd). We'll be hearing more from this author.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440628962
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/16/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
File size:
400 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Ruby is an award-winning journalist who has worked for BusinessWeek, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. His book collaborations include Don Hewitt's Tell Me a Story: Fifty Years and 60 Minutes in Television.

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Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago