The American political climate may feel polarized beyond belief, but there’s been one consistent ray of hope shining through the mess: the Joe Biden memes.
If you haven’t seen them, the vice president’s friendship with US President Barack Obama has been the source of many lighthearted internet posts in the days since the contentious 2016 presidential election.
So if all the partisan fighting has got you down, take some time to look back at Biden and Obama’s predecessors in the realm of political best buddies.
Amazon Books senior editor Erin Kodicek created this list of the best books about surprising, strange, and often heartwarming political friendships.
Here are her picks, listed in no particular order, with descriptions in her own words.
‘Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage’ by Barney Frank
“When former congressman Barney Frank’s book, ‘Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage’ was released in 2015, he visited the Amazon offices and a colleague asked him what I thought was a fascinating question: Publicly, politicians seem to constantly be at each other’s throats, but is a lot of this for show? Privately, are some of the same people we see tearing into each other on our television screens actually friends? The answer, remarkably, was yes.
“Dubious? These eight books provide further proof of this phenomenon, one that has been in evidence since the Founding Fathers bickered, and yet somehow birthed a nation.”
‘Lafayette in the Somewhat United States’ by Sarah Vowell
“Why would a young French aristocrat venture to our shores to join George Washington’s army and fight in the Revolutionary War? He came for the glory! He came because he believed in American ideals! He came to escape his in-laws! But, mainly it was for the Enlightenment ideas that were unevenly embraced by many of his fellow comrades.
“Sarah Vowell employs her signature acerbic wit in examining this contentious time in American history. But mainly ‘Lafayette in the Somewhat United States’ is a story of friendships: between Washington and Lafayette, between the Americans and their French allies, and between Lafayette and the American people.”
‘Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America’ by Stephen F Knott and Tony Williams
“Speaking of Washington, the guy had a lot of friends. But his relationship to Alexander Hamilton was decidedly cooler than it was with Lafayette, though arguably more monumental.
“You probably wouldn’t find these two throwing back a few pints at the local pub; Washington was too busy being virtuous, Hamilton too busy preening. But together they defied opposition from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, foiled attempts to squander hard-won freedoms, and set the stage for a new world superpower.”