Standing Firm: a Vice-Presidential Memoir

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HarperCollinsPublishers, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 402 pages
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Standing Firm leaves no doubt that Dan Quayle is the most misjudged figure in modern political history. Prior to 1988, Quayle had never lost an election. Not for Congress. Not even for the Senate. Heading into that year's Republican Convention, Quayle was considered one of the party's brightest young stars - a man of unusual political instincts who, when it came to campaigning, had a reputation as a giant killer. He would become the first in his generation to hold national office, but only after a tumultuous contest that frequently put him on the defensive. With gritty honesty and admirable self-deprecation, Quayle describes what it was like to weather that 1988 media storm, and the other squalls that followed. Poignantly, he also talks of the self-confidence and Christian faith that gave him the courage to stand firm and record some of the most noteworthy contributions of any Vice President ever. Among the high points: his coordination of America's response to a coup attempt in the Philippines, the details of which have never been reported; his bringing the family-values issue to the fore with the Murphy Brown speech - a call for action that, one year later, would even draw support from Democratic President Bill Clinton; his use of the White House Competitiveness Council to curtail harmful "overregulation"; his unreported diplomacy with Latin American leaders; and his championing of legal reform, which would earn him the strongest praise of his vice-presidency. Quayle pulls no punches when it comes to assessing himself and other players in the Bush administration - the men and women who were his allies, and sometimes his opponents, in helping George Bush spread democracy around theworld. He shares entries from his diary of the Persian Gulf crisis, offers a surprising snapshot of what the typical Bush cabinet meeting was like, describes intramural battles waged by White House power brokers, and reveals his special relationship with the President. Quayle, a former journalist, interviewed several members of the press for this book, and their contributions form a vital part of its fabric. Standing Firm is perhaps most intriguing in its analysis of what went wrong in the 1992 election. Quayle does not hesitate to place blame where it is deserved - in fact, he reserves some of the strongest criticism for himself. Throughout, the portrait is that emerges of the former Vice President is that of a man whose good humor is exceeded only by a competence for which he has never been fully credited.

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User Review  - JmGallen - LibraryThing

In preparation for a continuing education class on the vice-presidency that I was going to teach I re-read “Standing Firm”, this being my third reading. I read many biographies and vice-presidential ... Read full review

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User Review  - oakes - LibraryThing

This justificatory, probably ghostwritten political tome is no worse than many and better than some. Flipping through, there are interesting bits on the high and low points of the Bush presidency and ... Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Quayle was elected to the U.S. Congress at age 29, to the U.S. Senate at 33 and Vice President of the United States at the age of 41.

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