This behind-the-scenes account of the first two years of the Biden presidency offers fresh and revealing details about how Joe Biden and his team overcame huge challenges and a faltering start to make impressive gains in both domestic and foreign policy. Frank Foer argues that by passing several monumental pieces of legislation at home and rallying the world to Ukraine’s defense abroad, Biden has shown himself to be a more ambitious and capable president than widely anticipated. Further, by demonstrating the effectiveness still of political dealmaking and coalition-building, Biden has garnered new respect for the craft of those, like himself, who continue to believe in the work of politicians.
In her prologue Connolly notes that during the previous century, Americans gained on average an extra 30 years of life. So 80 is the new 50, and there are now many more octogenarians and nonagenarians enjoying life than ever before. Given medical and technological advances, Connolly writes, there has never been a better time to be old. This also means that millions more people than ever before need and will continue needing care. Yet current systems focused on caring for the elderly can be baffling and vary severely in quality. A leading authority on geriatric care, Connolly provides a clearer sense of where the relevant systems are now and where they might be headed in hopes of enabling us to forge a more just, gentle, and joyful old age for ourselves and for those we care about.
Anne Hull writes about growing up in rural Central Florida in the 1960s amid the orange groves her father’s family had worked for generations, and at a time Disney World was still taking shape on the horizon. The memoir is at once a vivid, heart-rending evocation of a particular time and place that no longer exist and an engaging and poignant story with universal appeal about a childhood filled with tomboy adventures, imperfect parents dealing with their own struggles, and a search for self. After a couple of attempts at college and a brief stint as a traveling sales rep for Revlon, Hull found her way to the St. Petersburg Times and then to a distinguished 17-year-run as a staff writer at the Washington Post--though she stops short of writing about her impressive journalism career, demonstrating in this slim work a knack for keeping the story tight and compelling.