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A native of Birmingham, Alabama who overcame the racism of the Civil Rights era to become a brilliant academic and expert on foreign affairs, Rice distinguished herself as an advisor to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. Once Bush was elected, she served as his chief adviser on national-security issues – a job whose duties included harmonizing the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense. It was a role that deepened her bond with the President and ultimately made her one of his closest confidantes.
With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rice found herself at the center of the Administration’s intense efforts to keep America safe. Here, Rice describes the events of that harrowing day – and the tumultuous days after. No day was ever the same. Additionally, Rice also reveals new details of the debates that led to the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq.
The eyes of the nation were once again focused on Rice in 2004 when she appeared before the 9-11 Commission to answer tough questions regarding the country’s preparedness for – and immediate response to – the 9-11 attacks. Her responses, it was generally conceded, would shape the nation’s perception of the Administration’s competence during the crisis. Rice conveys just how pressure-filled that appearance was and her surprised gratitude when, in succeeding days, she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness.
From that point forward, Rice was aggressively sought after by the media and regarded by some as the Administration’s most effective champion.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By J. Chronowski on 11-04-11
Facinating stories from inside Bush's White House
The stories are ones that I did not hear before and some shocked me, like the poison scare. Other stories you get to see from another point of view. While I don't always agree about decisions that were made, this book helps to understand a little of the dynamics of 'how' they were made, especially in times of stress.
The best auto-biographies are also read by the author. You can hear her tone of voice when she recollects these moments and that is an additional insight into her thoughts.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
By Lynn on 03-19-12
A Disarming Memoir
I have been a fan of Dr. Condoleezza Rice for some time and have read the Antonia Felix and Mary Dodson Wade books. No Higher Honor is the story of her work as chief advisor to the President and Secretary of State. The book is filled with tidbits and stories that readers will find entertaining and informative. I read Extraordinary, Ordinary People Rice’s story of her formative years immediately before tackling this volume. This was a good idea because it helped me to better understand how she made decisions in the course of her official duties. Now that said, readers must approach this book as a memoir. As such, this is Dr. Rice’s opportunity to tell her story from her point of view. True evaluation of her work will only come much later after many of the players are dead for that matter. Further, Dr. Rice is an academic with wide government experience and not a literary figure, per se. The prose reads similarly. It is clear, concise, and to the point. It is not great literature and that is not its intent. This volume is long as well and chronologically organized. Therefore, it reads like a day-by-day account of what she faced and how she dealt with the circumstances presented. Nonetheless, there is much here to stimulate the thinking of those in her corner and those who are not sympathetic. Those approaching this books for what it is will be well rewarded for the time spent. The reading of Dr. Rice is a plus!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful