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Publisher's Summary

From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government. In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement.
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.
©2011 Condoleezza Rice (P)2011 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most 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.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful


By Michael Moore on 01-16-12

Illuminating and Insightful!

George W. Bush, Don Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney have already published very good books about their service in the Bush Administration. Yet this book is in my opinion the best of the group. Why is that? I think there are three reasons. First, Condi???s book focuses almost exclusively on her service during the. Bush 43 Presidency. That allows her to provide more detail than did the others, who include considerable material about their prior government service. Second, Condi is a former college professor in the field of foreign relations and a very good one. She appears to have wanted to include clear teaching points for her readers. In any case, her account provides richer background and context to particular episodes and issues. The book (or excerpts from it) should become an invaluable resource for college and post-graduate courses on international relations and political science. Third, Condi shares more openly her own joys, mistakes, concerns, and fears as she went about her work. This is perhaps because she was newer to high-level government service, making it a fresher experience for her. It may also reflect the fact she is not a professional politician and is perhaps less concerned about image and her popular persona.

There are a number of vignettes in the book that reflect Condi???s unique background as a native of Birmingham, Alabama and the first black woman to serve as Secretary of State. For example, who else would have described to the President the deteriorating scene in Iraq in 2006 as the ???Iraqis having a Bull Connor problem??????i.e., comparing the reports of Iraqi police forces joining with outlaw Shiite militias to the disgraceful record in 1963 of the Birmingham Police Commissioner directing brutal police actions against peaceful demonstrators seeking an end to racial segregation?

All in all, an excellent book that will provide many insights and useful information for anyone interested in the major international and security issues of our day.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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