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Publisher's Summary

Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches. With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age 30; his cabinet-level positions in the Nixon and Ford White Houses; his assignments in the Reagan administration; and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector.
Rumsfeld addresses the challenges and controversies of his illustrious career, from the unseating of the entrenched House Republican leader in 1965, to helping the Ford administration steer the country away from Watergate and Vietnam, to bruising battles over transforming the military for the 21st century, to the war in Iraq, to confronting abuse at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.
Along the way, he offers his plainspoken, first-hand views and often humorous and surprising anecdotes about some of the world's best-known figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein, from Henry Kissinger to Colin Powell, from Elvis Presley to Dick Cheney, and each American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
Rumsfeld relies not only on his memory but also on previously unreleased and recently declassified documents. Thousands of pages of documents not yet seen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website.
Known and Unknown delivers both a fascinating narrative for today's listeners and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow's historians.
Donald Rumsfeld is donating his proceeds from sales of Known and Unknown to military charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation.
©2011 Donald Rumsfeld (P)2011 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Brooks on 02-19-11

Inside view of five decades in politics

Rumsfeld is such a polarizing figure in American politics, that I know it will be tempting for some to rate this book on whether they agree or disagree with his views. Set that aside. Whether one agrees or disagrees, it's simply a riveting look at the world of politics from an insider's point of view. Rumsfeld does a great job of reading his own material, so much so that it really feels more like listening to a storyteller in the old fashioned sense. Enjoyed it tremendously.

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30 of 30 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 04-13-11

Known and Unknown

I have never been a fan of Rumsfeld but this is an excellent book that covers a great deal of our history for the last several decades. You get no sense that he is rewriting history to make himself and the Bush administration look better but you realize if they could have been this open at the time, they would not have lost support like they did. Sadly the necessities of war often do not allow that openness when it is needed.

No ax grinding or score settling. Just what appears to be a very honest assessment of the history he was part of.

Rumsfeld is an excellent narrator on this. He does a better job than some of the professionals on other books I have listened to.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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