'Work Hard, Study...and Keep Out of Politics!': Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life

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Penguin, Oct 5, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 480 pages
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A revelatory memoir from one of the great political minds of our time. 

The real inside story of why Gerald Ford did not ask Ronald Reagan to be his running mate in 1976-and why Reagan did not pick Ford in 1980; the battle over Florida 2000; the aborted White House job switch that inadvertently opened the door to the Iran-Contra scandal; the Bush campaign's wish that Dan Quayle would offer to resign from the ticket in 1992; the White House turmoil in the dark days following the Reagan assassination attempt; and a great deal more . . . 

White House Chief of Staff (twice), Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and campaign chairman for three different candidates in five successive presidential campaigns-few people have lived and breathed politics as deeply as James Baker. Now, with candor and Texas-style storytelling, and not a few surprises, he takes us into his thirty-five years behind the scenes. 

None of it was planned. His grandfather, the "Captain," drilled this advice into him: "Work hard, study . . . and keep out of politics!" Then a personal tragedy changed the life of a forty-year-old Texas Democratic lawyer and he never looked back. From campaign horsetrading, which sometimes got rough ("Politics ain't beanbag," says Baker), to the inner councils of the Reagan and Bush administrations to the controversies of today, Baker offers frank talk and spellbinding narratives, along with personal appraisals of six presidents and a constellation of others. It was a long, unexpected journey from Houston, Texas, to Washington, D.C.-and you'll want to travel it with him.

 

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Work hard, study-- and keep out of politics!: adventures and lessons from an unexpected public life

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Baker, an alumnus of three Republican presidential administrations (Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush) and advisor to five consecutive presidential campaigns, has written a readable ... Read full review

Contents

Title Page
TWO GOBBLERS AND HENS
THREE THE CLOSEST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YOULL EVER SEE
FOUR DOESNT IT PISS YOU OFF?
FIVE I WANT TO TALK TO YOU BEFORE YOU GO BACK TO TEXAS
SIX PRESIDENT REAGAN DOESNT LIKE YES MEN WHEN HE SAYS
SEVEN SPARED FOR A PURPOSE
EIGHT A REFORMED DRUNK
TWELVE IF YOURE SO SMART JIMMY HOW COME IM VICE
THIRTEEN FROM FENCING MASTER TO FOXTAIL
FOURTEEN THE ONE CONSTANT IN POLITICS IS CHANGE
FIFTEEN I DONT MISS WASHINGTON
SIXTEEN GOOD EVENING MR PRESIDENTELECT
SEVENTEEN MR PRESIDENT THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME IVE
EIGHTEEN A SINGLE BLUEBELL
APPENDIX Item One on Our Agenda Was the Dollar

NINE CATCHING JAVELINS
TEN JIMMY YOURE MASSAGING ME
ELEVEN IF THATS WHAT YOU WANT GEORGE THATS WHAT WELL

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About the author (2006)

James A. Baker, III, served as Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush; Under Secretary of Commerce to Gerald Ford; Secretary of the Treasury to Reagan; and Secretary of State to Bush. He also led campaigns for the presidency by all three of these presidents.
    In addition, he has undertaken special envoy missions for George W. Bush and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on such matters as Iraqi debt relief and the conflict in the Western Sahara. In 2006, he became cochairman of the Iraq Study Group.

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