In November 2014, 13 members of the Biden family gathered on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, a tradition they had been celebrating for the past 40 years; it was the one constant in what had become a hectic, scrutinized, and overscheduled life. The Thanksgiving holiday was a much-needed respite, a time to connect, a time to reflect on what the year had brought and what the future might hold. But this year felt different from all those that had come before. Joe and Jill Biden's eldest son, Beau, had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor 15 months earlier, and his survival was uncertain. "Promise me, Dad," Beau had told his father. "Give me your word that no matter what happens, you're going to be all right." Joe Biden gave him his word.
Promise Me, Dad chronicles the year that followed, which would be the most momentous and challenging in Joe Biden's extraordinary life and career. Vice President Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq. When a call came from New York, or Capitol Hill, or Kyiv, or Baghdad - "Joe, I need your help" - he responded. For 12 months, while Beau fought for and then lost his life, the vice president balanced the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family. And never far away was the insistent and urgent question of whether he should seek the presidency in 2016. The year brought real triumph and accomplishment, and wrenching pain. But even in the worst times, Biden was able to lean on the strength of his long, deep bonds with his family, on his faith, and on his deepening friendship with the man in the Oval Office, Barack Obama.
Writing with poignancy and immediacy, Joe Biden allows listeners to feel the urgency of each moment, to experience the days when he felt unable to move forward as well as the days when he felt like he could not afford to stop. This is a book written not just by the vice president but by a father, grandfather, friend, and husband. Promise Me, Dad is a story of how family and friendships sustain us and how hope, purpose, and action can guide us through the pain of personal loss into the light of a new future.
Note: this Audible Exclusive includes a powerful interview – only available here – between Joe Biden and award-winning journalist, Mike Barnicle. Their discussion contextualizes the memoir’s wide-ranging themes, while also touching upon the presidential election, current events, and what it means to grapple with profound grief.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Suswati on 20-11-17
Poignant, humanizing a politician
Listening to Joe Biden's frank and open memoir dealing with his son's cancer and bereavement is heartfelt, especially as it is read by himself.
Unlike most books by politicians, "Promise Me, Dad" is committed to communicating to us the values and principles of a family man who happens to have been a senior member of government.
His most compelling narration comes in the form of him discussing his hopes, fears, dreams and nightmares through which a family succumbs while dealing with cancer. I became emotional listening to him break down while discussing the death of his son - his voice audibly trembles which is why the audiobook gives a whole new depth to the biography.
Warm, insightful and thought-provoking.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Dr P F Ridgway on 27-11-17
Despite the tragic central story, Mr Biden has produced an endearing open account of his last year in office. He expertly steers away from the usual hubris associated with such books. I found it to be a compelling heartfelt expose of balancing the family unit in the face of demands of national and international duty.
The conversational writing style suited the subject matter well. In his personal retelling, his Irish core (and lilt) shines through. Well worth a listen.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jean on 02-12-17
A Sad Memoir
The memoir by Joe Biden covers his last year as vice president and the tragedy of his son’s death His son, Beau, was the Attorney General of Delaware and was planning on running for governor of Delaware when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. This is not Joe Biden’s first family tragedy. When Joe was first elected Senator from Delaware, his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. His two sons, Beau age three and Hunter age two, were in the back seat. They were injured but survived the crash. Biden provided a good overview of the ongoing research of glioblastoma brain cancer.
The book is well written, but I found it to be an emotional book to read. I wished there had been more about Beau’s family particularly his wife, Hallie. Biden spoke of his grandchild but little was mentioned about Hallie. But I understand how difficult it must have been for Biden to write. Biden provided an overview of his last year as vice president along with some insights about people he worked with.
The book is almost eight hours long. Joe Biden narrated the book.
27 of 29 people found this review helpful
By DFW on 21-11-17
A Beautiful Tribute to Beau Biden
This was one of the saddest books I've ever heard. It does shed light on why he didn't run for president. I'm amazed that this man can get up every morning and continue to accomplish anything. Beau was a hero in more ways than one and this is a beautiful tribute to one who died too young.
27 of 30 people found this review helpful