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The president is missing : a novel
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Author Notes
William Jefferson Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe IV on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas. His father, an automobile parts salesman, was killed in a car accident three months before he was born. At the age of fifteen, Bill changed his name to that of his stepfather Roger's as a gesture of goodwill to both him and his mother. Clinton attended Hot Springs High School where he was very active in the student government, among other things. In 1963, Clinton was chosen to attend the American Legion Boys State, a government and leadership conference in Little Rock, where he was elected a senator and given the opportunity to go to Washington D. C. and meet President John F. Kennedy. Clinton attended Georgetown University after he graduated from high school, where he majored in International Studies. He interned for Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, and with him became an opponent of the Vietnam War. Clinton won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he studied for two years before attending the University of Arkansas Law School. There he was issued a draft letter and joined ROTC, but was never called up since he received a high number for the draft lottery. <p> In 1970, Clinton entered Yale Law School and worked for George McGovern's presidential campaign in 1972. He graduated from Yale in 1973, and worked for a short time in D. C. as a staff attorney for the House Judiciary Committee. In 1974, Clinton entered his first political race, against Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt, losing to the Congressman by 2 percent. In 1976, he was elected Arkansas Attorney General and in '78 ran for Arkansas Governor, winning the race 63% to 37%. He lost the reelection two years later because of Cuban refugee issues, but regained the title in 1982, and held it till he became President in 1993. <p> Bill Clinton announced his run for President on October 3, 1991, and with Al Gore as his Vice President, took office on January 20, 1993 at the age of 46. He was one of the youngest men to hold the office of President and the first Democrat to be elected since 1976. As President, Clinton worked on health care reform, cut federal spending, created jobs, reduced the deficit and enacted the Assault Weapon Ban as part of the Crime Bill. He also helped Israel and Jordan achieve a peace treaty, enabled a peace accord between Israel and Palestine and contributed to the cease fire in Northern Ireland. Clinton stepped down from the Presidency in 2000 to make way for George W. Bush, and established himself in offices in Harlem, New York City, New York, while his wife was elected to the U.S. Senate, representing New York State. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
U.S. presidents
Mysterious disappearances
- United States
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
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Trade Reviews

  New York Times Review

when ??? wolfe noted that "the problem with fiction" is that "it has to be plausible," he may have had efforts like this one in mind. Bill Clinton and James Patterson's ambitious and wildly readable new novel, "The President Is Missing," arches more closely toward plausibility in its geopolitical subplots - threats against the Saudi king, malicious Russian meddling in world affairs - than its main story line of a president who ditches his handlers and goes rogue from the White House, convinced he is the only one who can foil a huge cyberterror plot. The book opens with a charged scene in which President Jonathan Duncan is participating in a mock hearing to prepare for a congressional inquiry investigating the botched attempt to capture a terrorist. When the president loses his temper, he vindicates the advisers who have cautioned him not to appear before the actual committee. It's a satisfying outcome for the former senior staffer in me - but unrealistic, considering the picture of the president that unfolds on the subsequent pages. Clinton and Patterson's fictional commander in chief brims with humanity, character and stoicism. He's a grieving widower - his last act before breaking free from his Secret Service protectors is to stare lovingly at a photo of his wife taken shortly before she died of cancer. The president's palpable ache for his first lady makes the reader wonder if the entire reckless adventure on which he embarks is, at least in part, a death wish. After kissing the photo, he enters the subterranean tunnels beneath the White House, emerges in an underground Treasury Department parking garage, gets behind the wheel of a sedan and drives himself first to the apartment of an old friend - who helps him with a disguise - and then to a Capitol Hill bar to meet his daughter. It's clear that both of them understand the gravity of the situation better than we do. Their words sound more like "goodbye" than "good luck." After this touching scene, Clinton and Patterson ask readers to take an even bigger leap - the president attends a baseball game alone to meet with an unvetted informant who has information about the coming cyberattack. The young man earns instant credibility with the president when the two are nearly gunned down. The chase scenes that ensue, replete with Secret Service shootouts, pre-positioned snipers (our first clue about an enemy deep within the president's inner circle) and a president who can still drive well enough to escape armed assassins (most presidents have rusty driving skills), are exciting enough, but their higher purpose is to introduce the novel's most intriguing character: Bach. Bach, so named for her devotion to the classical music constantly playing in her earbuds, is an assassin. Her inner monologue is more riveting than some of the novel's dialogue. When she lands at Reagan National she tells herself: "Look happy.... Happiness, they say, is the optimal emotion to project when under surveillance, the least likely to arouse suspicion. People who are smiling, who are content and pleased, if not laughing and joking, don't look like a threat." We learn of Bach: "She has killed on every continent. She has assassinated generals, activists, politicians and businessmen. She is known only by her gender and the classical-music composer she favors. And by her 100 percent kill rate." Game on. without divulging any of the satisfying plot twists - including just who Bach's target is - I can report that the novel unspools smoothly. Only in its final pages does it get bogged down with a few too many unsubtle messages about the current state of our politics, as in this presidential address to a joint session of Congress and the nation: "What does it mean to be an American today? It's a question that will answer itself if we get back to what's brought us this far: widening the circle of opportunity, deepening the meaning of freedom and strengthening bonds of community. Shrinking the definition of them and expanding the definition of us. Leaving no one behind, left out, looked down on." And this one: "Think about how different it would be if we reached beyond our base to represent a broader spectrum of opinions and interests. We'd learn to listen to one another more and defame one another less." These passages serve as a device to tie up loose ends, but they take away from the novel's greatest strength: It realistically depicts the selfless and often nameless people who work in government - and are willing to lose their lives - because they are compelled to serve their nation. It explores the thin line between loyalty and duty on one side and resentment and temptation on the other that can corrupt even the most honorable of public servants, and it shines a spotlight on the deep commitment of America's adversaries to tear us apart and weaken our standing in the world. ? Clinton and Patterson's fictional commander in chief brims with humanity, character and stoicism. NICOLLE Wallace is a journalist, author, NBC political analyst and the host of "Deadline: White House," airing weeknights at 4 p.m. E.S.T. on MSNBC.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Former president Clinton (My Life) and bestseller Patterson (The People vs. Alex Cross) deliver a page-turning thriller that rivals the best work of such genre titans as Brad Meltzer and Vince Flynn. President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan is un-der fire from the House Select Committee for allegedly ordering a team of Special Forces and CIA operatives to Algeria to thwart an attempt on the life of Turkish-born terrorist Suliman Cindoruk, leader of the Sons of Jihad. Hostile committee members repeatedly ask him questions about the raid that he refuses to answer. But Duncan's concerns about the out-come of congressional hearings into his actions are secondary to his fears that a computer virus is about to be activated that would completely cripple the United States. In order to avert that calamity, Duncan leaves the White House and his protective detail behind and attempts to gain the confidence of the shadowy figures who revealed the existence of the threat. The authors keep the suspense high as Duncan dodges bullets from a master assassin, deals with his deteriorating health from a blood clotting disorder, and strives to unmask a traitor among his inner circle of advisers. Fans of the TV series 24 and the movie Air Force One will be riveted. Agent: Bob Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<br> Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller <br> Instant #1 USA Today Bestseller <br> <br> " President Duncan for a second term!" - -USA Today<br> " This book's a big one." -- New York Times <br> "Towers above most political thrillers." -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette <br> "The plotting is immaculate . . . the writing is taut." - -Sunday Times (London)<br> "Ambitious and wildly readable . " -- New York Times Book Review<br> <br> The President Is Missing confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America. Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view . . . <br> Set over the course of three days, The President Is Missing sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of our nation. Filled with information that only a former Commander-in-Chief could know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years.
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