In this new feature of the Washington Watch, WW will primarily suggest books you may find interesting but now and then it may also mention a TV program, and other things. I welcome your suggestions and your input. What have you been reading that you think WW readers might like?
How to Lead
By David Rubenstein
For the past five years, David M. Rubenstein—author of The American Story, visionary cofounder of The Carlyle Group, and host of The David Rubenstein Show—has spoken with the world’s highest performing leaders about who they are and how they became successful. How to Lead distills these revealing conversations into an indispensable leadership guidebook.
Gain advice and wisdom from CEOs, presidents, founders, and master performers from the worlds of finance (Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon, Christine Lagarde, Ken Griffin), tech (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, Tim Cook), entertainment (Oprah Winfrey, Lorne Michaels, Renee Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma), sports (Jack Nicklaus, Adam Silver, Coach K, Phil Knight), government (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nancy Pelosi), and many others.
- Jeff Bezos harnesses the power of wandering, discovering that his best decisions have been made with heart and intuition, rather than analysis.
- Richard Branson never goes into a venture looking to make a profit. He aims to make it the best in field.
- Phil Knight views Nike as a marketing company whose product is its most important marketing tool.
- Marillyn Hewson, who grew up in a fatherless home with four siblings in Kansas, quickly learned the importance of self-reliance and the value of a dollar.
How to Lead shares the extraordinary stories of these pioneering agents of change. Discover how each luminary got started and how they handle decision making, failure, innovation, change, and crisis. Learn from their decades of experience as pioneers in their field. No two leaders are the same.
by Evan Osnos
President-elect 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 and disappointments 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. As he says, “Failure at some point in your life is inevitable but giving up is unforgivable.” His trials have forged in him a deep empathy for others in hardship—an essential quality as he leads America toward recovery and renewal.
Blending up-close journalism and broader context, Evan Osnos, who won the National Book Award in 2014, draws on nearly a decade of reporting for The New Yorker to capture the characters and meaning of 2020’s extraordinary presidential election. It is based 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.
This portrayal illuminates Biden’s long and eventful career in the Senate, his eight years as Obama’s vice president, his sojourn in the political wilderness after being passed over for Hillary Clinton in 2016, his decision to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, and his choice of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Osnos ponders the difficulties Biden faces as his presidency begins and weighs how political circumstances, and changes in his thinking, have altered his positions. 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.