Time Present, Time Past: A Memoir

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During his terms in the U.S. Senate, Bill Bradley won a national reputation for thoughtfulness, decency, and a willingness to take controversial positions on issues ranging from tax reform to the rights of Native Americans. All these qualities inform this bestselling memoir, in which Bradley assesses his political career and the experiences that shaped his convictions, and looks beyond them to consider the state of the American union on the eve of the twenty-first century.

Time Present, Time Past offers an intimate portrait of the day-to-day workings of the Senate: how legislation gets passed and sometimes thwarted; how money is raised and at what cost. But Bradley also writes about deeper questions: What does it mean to be an American in an age of dwindling opportunities and increasing inequality? How much can we expect from our public servants? What do we owe our fellow citizens? The result is a genuinely revelatory book, informed by intelligence, compassion, and unprecedented candor.

A superb memoir that concludes with an exciting vision of what this country can be, Time Present, Time Past recounts a classic American journey. Former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley speaks with affection about his small-town upbringing, traces the road he took through professional sports to public service, and vividly brings to life the world of a U.S. senator.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The political autobiography of the former New Jersey senator and former New York Knick, an eight-week PW bestseller, features a new afterword by the author.
Library Journal
More than a memoir, this work by the senior senator from New Jersey offers a vision for the future.
Ilene Cooper
In this impressive memoir, Bradley, the senator from New Jersey and former basketball star, pulls off quite a coup. He uses his memories of life on and off the court, and on and off the Senate floor, as a starting point for discussions of race, immigration, campaign financing, and political integrity. Often when this kind of thing is attempted, the author's stroll down memory lane captures the readers' attention; then the analysis of the larger issues tires them out. Through skillful writing, a wealth of experiences to draw on, and a genuine and abiding interest in the well-being of this country, Bradley manages to avoid these pitfalls. Whether discussing his boyhood in Crystal City, Missouri, where the bigger world both beckoned and intimidated, or tackling the information explosion and the question of how it will impact the social and economic lives of Americans, Bradley is highly readable, thought provoking, and refreshingly honest. He pulls no punches when it comes to discussing his own shortcomings or those of his colleagues. Not that this book is in any way mean-spirited. Even Bradley's political foes should be disappointed by his afterword, in which he reiterates his recent announcement that he will not run again for the Senate. There aren't too many politicians that elevate the level of political debate. Bradley is one of them.
David Halberstam
Intelligent, surprisingly candid and exceptionally well-written… A love letter to America on the part of someone shrewd and knowledgeable about the country.
Vanity Fair
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR Time Present, Time Past:

"Strikingly reflects the realities of modern politics, what it looks like, feels like, from the inside."—The New York Times Book Review

"Intelligent, surprisingly candid and exceptionally well written. A love letter to America [by] someone shrewd and knowledgeable about the country."—Vanity Fair

"In this impressive memoir, Bradley...uses his memories of life on and off the court, and on and off the Senate floor, as a starting point for discussions of race, immigration, campaign financing, and political integrity.... Bradley is highly readable, thought provoking, and refreshingly honest."—Booklist

From Barnes & Noble
In describing his own life's journey, from a small Missouri town to professional basketball to the U.S. Senate, Bradley looks back at the lives of his ancestors, at the many heroic and memorable Americans he's encountered, and forward to the America of the next century, assessing both its politics and its national health. "One of the most decent, thoughtful, inspiring, and well-written books by a public figure I have ever read."--Doris Kearns Goodwin.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788157783
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Pages: 442
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Bradley

Bill Bradley has been a three-time basketball All-American at Princeton, an Olympic gold medalist, a Rhodes scholar, and a professional player for ten years with the New York Knicks.  Elected to the Senate from New Jersey in 1978, 1984, and 1990, he has authored extensive legislation, including the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  Bradley has written two previous books, Life on the Run and The Fair Tax. He is married and has one daughter.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi
1 Crystal City 3
2 The Garden 17
3 The Walking Town Meeting 29
4 The World's Greatest Deliberative Body 59
5 The Big Picture 91
6 Outside the Frame 117
7 The Media Burn 145
8 Money Is Power 162
9 Night Thoughts 194
10 The Closed Frontier 214
11 Getting to Billings 236
12 Trouble with Unions 250
13 The Scotch-Irish Nation 267
14 The Original Americans 290
15 The Creedal Society 317
16 Across the Great Divide 354
17 Promises to Keep 394
18 A River That Still Runs 416
Afterword to the Vintage Edition 425
Acknowledgments 431
Index 433
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