George Bush's Point Man

The Education Secretary is putting his political skills -- and his ambitions -- on the line to sell Choice to Capitol Hill

Author Alex Haley and his friend Lamar Alexander booked passage together in 1988 on a cargo ship from California to Australia, aiming to write books away from the distractions of their Tennessee home base. Every evening the pair would emerge from a day of writing in their cabins to watch the "green flash," which can sometimes be seen just before the sun disappears below the horizon. "He'd talk, and I'd listen," Haley recalls. "Lamar talked night after night about the desperate need to improve American education. It was in his marrow. He felt impotent to do the things that needed to...

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