A balanced and insightful account of the life of the Vice President from a Washington correspondent for Newsweek.
Turque begins in Nashville in October 1999 with a snapshot of candidate Gore, a man who has "squandered his advantages
with such breathtaking speed." The Vice President has just moved his headquarters to Nashville from Washington, a move that
is both practical and powerfully symbolic of his desire to distance himself from Beltway politics (and especially from the culture
of scandal that has damaged the Clinton administration). We are then offered a quick account of a grim evening in November
1970 when Senator Albert Gore Sr. was defeated for reelection before returning to a chronology of the younger Gore’s career.
Turque gives compelling portraits of Gore’s parents (the Vice President’s mother was the only woman in Vanderbilt Law School’s class of 1936) and paints a largely sympathetic view of his subject as he plods through school (St. Albans) and college (Harvard).
Turque does not hesitate, however, to share some details of Gore’s adolescent sex life and restrained experimentation with
marijuana (yes, he inhaled). He acknowledges Gore’s courage in volunteering for military service during the Vietnam War, and
he clearly admires Gore’s intelligence and tenacity. But he chides the Vice President for some of his character flaws—specifically
for inflating his accomplishments (the famous claim to have invented the Internet) and for a "zeal for election money in 1996
[that] eroded his judgment, sense of propriety, and usual attention to detail." Turque writes with the confidence born of exhaustive
research (although both Al and Tipper Gore refused requests for interviews) and only occasionally slips—as when he twice
employs the same folksy simile: "like a piece of chewing gum on the sole of his shoe."
A fluid, intelligent biography—both comprehensive and comprehending. (20 b&w photos, not seen) (First serial rights to