Destiny and Power


In this brilliant biography, Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. Drawing on President Bush’s personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed.

His was one of the great American lives. Born into a loving, privileged, and competitive family, Bush joined the navy on his eighteenth birthday and at age twenty was shot down on a combat mission over the Pacific. He married young, started a family, and resisted pressure to go to Wall Street, striking out for the adventurous world of Texas oil. Over the course of three decades, Bush would rise from the chairmanship of his county Republican Party to serve as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, director of Central Intelligence, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and, finally, president of the United States. In retirement he became the first president since John Adams to see his son win the ultimate prize in American politics.

With access not only to the Bush diaries but, through extensive interviews, to the former president himself, Meacham presents Bush’s candid assessments of many of the critical figures of the age, ranging from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan; Mao to Mikhail Gorbachev; Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld; Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it.

From the Pacific to the presidency, Destiny and Power charts the vicissitudes of the life of this quietly compelling American original. Meacham sheds new light on the rise of the right wing in the Republican Party, a shift that signaled the beginning of the end of the center in American politics. Destiny and Power is an affecting portrait of a man who, driven by destiny and by duty, forever sought, ultimately, to put the country first.

Praise for Destiny and Power

“Should be required reading—if not for every presidential candidate, then for every president-elect.”The Washington Post

“Reflects the qualities of both subject and biographer: judicious, balanced, deliberative, with a deep appreciation of history and the personalities who shape it.”The New York Times Book Review

“A fascinating biography of the forty-first president.”The Dallas Morning News

“When we rank, reconsider, laud, or denounce past Presidents, living or dead, we are taking stock of our own times. In that sense, the vindication of George H. W. Bush is a reflection of what we know we’ve lost. Jon Meacham’s new biography of Bush, Destiny and Power, makes that plain from its very first pages.”The New Yorker

“The story of the forty-first man to hold the office sheds light not only on the country we were, but the one we’ve become.”Los Angeles Times

From the Hardcover edition.


Learning Targets

In Learning Targets, Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart contend that improving student learning and achievement happens in the immediacy of an individual lesson–what they call “today’s lesson”–or it doesn’t happen at all.

The key to making today’s lesson meaningful? Learning targets. Written from students’ point of view, a learning target describes a lesson-sized chunk of information and skills that students will come to know deeply. Each lesson’s learning target connects to the next lesson’s target, enabling students to master a coherent series of challenges that ultimately lead to important curricular standards.

Drawing from the authors’ extensive research and professional learning partnerships with classrooms, schools, and school districts, this practical book

* Situates learning targets in a theory of action that students, teachers, principals, and central-office administrators can use to unify their efforts to raise student achievement and create a culture of evidence-based, results-oriented practice.

* Provides strategies for designing learning targets that promote higher-order thinking and foster student goal setting, self-assessment, and self-regulation.

* Explains how to design a strong performance of understanding, an activity that produces evidence of students’ progress toward the learning target.

* Shows how to use learning targets to guide summative assessment and grading.

Learning Targets also includes reproducible planning forms, a classroom walk-through guide, a lesson-planning process guide, and guides to teacher and student self-assessment.

What students are actually doing during today’s lesson is both the source of and the yardstick for school improvement efforts. By applying the insights in this book to your own work, you can improve your teaching expertise and dramatically empower all students as stakeholders in their own learning.


Parents, Learning, and Whole Language Classrooms

This book aims to help teachers who are committed to whole language principles explain the philosophy to their students’ parents. It addresses the concerns of parents who most likely grew up in a traditional, teacher-centered educational system, and who therefore might be unfamiliar with a whole language approach to language arts. Drawing on work by noted educators including Constance Weaver and Kenneth Goodman, the book proposes to demystify whole language, explaining practices such as invented spelling and writing process. Exercises and activities that involve parents in their children’s learning are demonstrated, using parent-teacher groups. The book encourages teachers and parents to recognize each other as partners in children’s education. It contains generous examples of parents’ writing, detailing their interest and support of whole language. The book closes with a chapter on educational reform–the recent standards movement–which supports the position that parents must be viewed as learners and must be brought into the education system in an active way. (NKA)


The Presidents Club

The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval Office and yet are eternal rivals for history’s favor. Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.

Time magazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.