Few men have played such a critical role in the most pivotal events of the second half of the 20th century. In this audio presentation - in his own words and his own voice - James A. Baker III uses his unique perspective to take us inside those events and the personalities involved in them: the collapse of Communism, the Berlin Wall, and the Soviet Union itself; the reunification of Germany; the remarkable negotiations behind the coalition-building of the Gulf War; and the even more remarkable talks that led Israelis and Arabs to the same conference table for the first time in decades.
But as the title indicates, this is also the story of the rough-and-tumble politics of diplomacy and the personalities who have shaped the world at the end of the century: Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Thatcher, Mitterrand, Kohl, Shamir, Mubarak, Assad, Kings Fahd, and Hussein, and Baker's friend, President George Bush.
"Former Secretary of State Baker's memoirs offer an engaging and candid behind-the-scenes look at the conduct of U.S. foreign policy during one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history." (Library Journal)
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A fascinating first hand account of recent history
Yes, and I have. Secretary Baker was Americas chief diplomat during a very pivotal time in recent American diplomatic history. It is very interesting to hear Secretary Baker's discussion of the Soviet Coup, Iraq War (Desert Shield/Storm) and efforts at Middle East peace.
Secretary Baker... as the story revolved around him... lol It was interesting to get a more personal take on Mr. Gorbachev and Mr. Sheverdnadze, as well as a personal account from that critical period.
I have seen several interviews... he strikes me as a very thoughtful man with some a keen sense of insight. This book ranks on par with the others.
I would not say an 'extreme' reaction... I have listened to it twice, and find the account to be very interesting. I expect to listen to it again at some point in the future.
The only reason that I gave this four stars instead of five, is that it could have been organized a bit better (perhaps more chronlogically). It seems to start with Iraq, and then return to it a second time.
Greatest thanks Mr. Baker & Mr . DeFrank.