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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 onFrom 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 performance.From that point forward, Rice was aggressively sought after by the media and regarded by some as the Administration's most effective champion.In 2005 Rice was entrusted with even more responsibility when she was charged with helping to shape and carry forward the President's foreign policy as Secretary of State. As such, she proved herself a deft crafter of tactics and negotiation aimed to contain or reduce the threat posed by America's enemies. Here, she reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that kept the world's relationships with Iran, North Korea and Libya from collapsing into chaos. She also talks about her role as a crisis manager, showing that at any hour—and at a moment's notice—she was willing to bring all parties to the bargaining table anywhere in the world.No Higher Honor takes the reader into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon often hung in the balance, and it draws back the curtain on how frighteningly close all-out war loomed in clashes involving Pakistan-India and Russia-Georgia, and in East Africa. Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds. In No Higher Honor, she delivers a master class in statecraft—but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded....

Title : No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington
Author :
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ISBN : 9780307952479
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 784 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington Reviews

  • John
    2018-11-23 01:11

    Disclosure: I am a third generation Stanford grad and admit to an innate, non-partisan sympathy toward fellow graduates as diverse as Condi Rice and Chelsea Clinton. As political memoirs go, this bulky autobiography merits a careful, deliberate reading. It runs a bit long, flushing out an abundance of non-eseential details and catchy anecdotes. There are plenty of recollections and profiles of world leaders. In foreign affairs perception is everything. Words are carefully crafted to eliminate any ambiguity and misinterpretation. Slips, inferences, nuances, body language can all trigger unitended reactions. Behind every diplomatic pronouncement there is plenty of back room arm twisting, policy debate, profanity and muscle flexing. That's what makes books like this so engaging. Condi tosses off plenty of juicy tidbits. Qadafi is completely nuts. Omar Bashir from Sudan is a well-dressed hoodlum whose thugs rough up her security detail. Putin is a devious, cunning gamesman hiding behind a veneer of pseudo=-respectability. Surprisingly, the book is pretty balanced in its broadsides against the Democrats. Bilary emerges largely unscathed. Condi does not criticize her successor. John Kerry and Harry Reid are taken to task. Adding to her credibility, Condi also levels her periscope at fellow Republicans. There are engaging accounts of the internal struggles in the Bush White House, her run-ins with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and some noteworthy critiques of John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz.Condi acquits herself well in her autobiography. THe most disturbing tendency in retrospectives like this is to whitewash and justify past actions. The George Tenet autobiography (and his convenient amnesia over questionable lapses and breakdowns in the CIA) is at the head of this list. Condi admits some of her mistakes but also chronicles episodes where she offered her resignation to President Bush when he questioned her convictions. Anyone who has observed Condi's Congressional testimony before the 9/11 Commission or the search for weapons of mass destruction knows she is a diplomat does her homework and lays out strong arguments. She does not dwell too much on her childhood growing up aa an Afro-American in Birmingham, Alabama. She comes across as very charming and talented (a classically-educated concert pianist!) but somewhat elusive. She is attractive and engiaging and has a great job ... How come there is no man in her life after 58 years? This is a great opportunity for a trailing spouse. The autobiography steers clear of this subject and it's really none of our business ... still.After the 2012 elections, as battle weary Republicans sift through their decimated, fragmented ranks, navigating between the feuding Tea Partiers and Religious Rightists, Condoleeza Rice looms as one of the brighter GOP stars in an otherwise dismal universe.

  • Kend
    2018-11-14 05:37

    For a reader who's not really into heavy politics, I found Condoleezza Rice's memoirs of George W. Bush's eight years in office to be a riveting read. Rice is an honest and forthright narrator, open about her beliefs and her biases, and unafraid to claim her faith. I respect that. I also respect her choice to steer clear of the dirt-slinging so common in political memoirs--she gives fair treatment to both sides of every situation, and shows the logic behind every controversial (and mundane) decision she made while National Security Advisor and, later, Secretary of State.Over the course of "No Higher Honor," I grew to respect Rice as not just a politician, but as a person, a powerful voice for the Republican Party, for women, for African Americans, and for the oppressed minorities all over the world. Please do not make the mistake of thinking this is Bush's story. This is Condoleezza's story, wherein Bush happens to be an important character, and the vast majority of its pages are dedicated to her travels abroad and America's foreign policy in an age of instability and terrorism. It's fascinating.

  • Virginia Albanese
    2018-11-16 23:25

    I am plowing through this very detailed book. I am an older woman and not sure I have enough lifetime to spend reading it, but shall keep at it. After several weeks I returned to this book and found it still detailed, but fascinating in relation to the constant travel, negoiations in trying to reach agreements with various countries and people representing them. Kind of like an alcoholic who falls off the wagon, gets back on, falls etc. It is a very long process reaching consensus. There certainly seemed to me little if any time off or fun in her life during these eight years. I have no idea how a body can adjust to all that travel and time change even if you are on a nice government airplane. Going to have to read Madeline Albright's book and wait for Hillary's. Remember reading of the John Adams lives as diplomats and the ease of travel has certainly changed, but not the give and take.

  • Kathleen Hagen
    2018-12-11 03:30

    No Higher Honor: a Memoir of my Years in Washington, by Condoleezza Rice, read by the author, Produced by Random House Audio, downloaded from book is one to be reread in a few months, maybe more than once. It’s a remarkable history of the eight years of the Bush presidency. Whatever one thinks of the policies she espoused on behalf of the president, Condoleezza Rice had dignity, poise, thought on her feet, and spent an incredible amount of time smoothing the feathers of various prime ministers. She did not spend any time bad-mouthing anyone else, republican or democrat. She is a woman I admire greatly, even when I disagree with her. Having her narrate the book herself was an added benefit. You could hear, as she relived some of those harrowing moments, how hard they were on her. What made her stand out, and what made her well-liked by many people from both parties, was her willingness to repeat some of her own history, to never forget from where she came. She told about not being able to drink at certain drinking fountains and about not going to school with any white kids until she was 12 years old and they moved from Birmingham, Alabama to Denver. She knew one of the three little girls killed in 1963 in the Birmingham church. She was tough, and often cool and analytical, but she understood what and what her role was as a diplomat.

  • Harley
    2018-12-14 00:11

    After listening to the audio book by Hillary Clinton on her experience as Secretary of State, I decided to follow it with No Higher Honor by Condoleezza Rice, her predecessor. The books are in many ways very similar both in the telling and in the stories being told. Like I was not a Clinton fan prior to reading her book, Hard Choices, I am not a George Bush fan either. In fact, I have very negative views of his conduct of the wars during his administration, but I feel it is very important to keep an open mind and to listen to what they have to say. One does not have to agree with someone to appreciate what he has to say.Rice tells a very powerful story about her 8 years of experience in the Bush Administration as the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State. She was introduced to George W. by his father whom she had served under during his administration. Rice consistently defends the George W. and his decisions. His administration was deeply influenced by the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. She discusses the fear that permeated the administration in the months and years that followed the attacks. The way the Administration saw the world was colored by that fear. While Rice admits making mistakes in her positions, she does not voice any negative feelings toward George W. She is less positive about Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld with whom she experienced major disagreements, although one has to read between the lines to gain a sense of the conflict.Rice grew up in the segregated Birmingham, Alabama. She tells the story of how one of her kindergarten friends was killed during the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham.One of my favorite anecdotes was during a trip to Rome for the funeral of the pope. She was sitting between George W. and Bill Clinton. She said Bill talked all the time and George did not talk. The story, I believe, is very telling about the differences between the two men.Rice did her own recording of the book so one hears the story in her voice. I would highly recommend the book to anyone interested in politics, history and the international world. The book offers more of the story than one finds in the newspapers and on television. And I would also recommend that one reads it in conjunction with Hillary Clinton's book on her experiences. Hillary opens her book with the letter she received from Condoleezza. A part of me wishes that Rice had chosen to run for President and that she and Hillary would have had an opportunity to campaign against each other.

  • Lynda
    2018-11-15 03:15

    I left my Political Science PhD program on 9/12/2001. I’ll always be able to remember the day for an obvious reason, and for a host of reasons I was ready to start on a new path in life. I have to admit after so many years of living and breathing political science I was ready to bury my head in the sand for a bit (well, relatively speaking). So, Rice’s book is about the first truly political book I’ve read in a long while. She covers her beginnings in the administration as the National Security Advisor and moves through her time as Secretary of State. It is a long path in a very tragic and troubling decade, but despite a few slow moments it is quite well-written and engaging.It would have been difficult to be alive during the Bush administration and NOT be aware of most of her narrative. Her book goes in-depth on the obvious issues–War on Terrorism, war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan–even if we learn nothing much new. I was surprised she included a discussion of the antagonism between the Defense Department/Vice-President’s camp on one side and pretty much all the people I could possibly respect in the administration on the other side (Colin Powell mainly and sometimes Rice). Of course this is Condi’s story and she gets to spin it however she pleases. I’m half inclined to read the Rumsfeld book just to see what his excuse was, especially for not having a post-invasion reconstruction plan, but I’m not sure I want to give it my time.Beyond the most obvious events, Rice details some aspects of the administration’s foreign policy that were lost in the noise of the wars on everything. The Bush policy in Africa and Latin America while definitely having an ideological slant was for the most part positive. I can’t imagine a single one of the current crop of Republican hopefuls having the same level of engagement on HIV and other issues in the developing world (even if the Bush level of engagement was hardly adequate).Another aspect of the book that makes it worth the read is that Condi is a political scientist and has the ability to rise above the ideology of the time to talk intelligently about the events. For example, if you agree with the Freedom Agenda or not, it is interesting to read about her understanding of it as a redefinition of realism that could incorporate elements of the democratic peace. I’ve even thought about maybe using parts of the book in my international relations class. Students could see the theories as more than just Political Science, but as a tradition that has emerged out of foreign policy and history and that is still interwoven in the actions of our leaders. Her use of theory is simplified but it is also engaging. And honestly, that is more than you can say for most textbooks.Overall I would recommend to anyone looking for a narrative of the complex political events of the past decade.

  • Jean Poulos
    2018-11-13 03:33

    I have read several biographies about Condoleezza Rice, now I shall obtain the information from her via this memoir. Rice always appears gracious, well poised, intelligent and well dressed. The other books I read provided a good deal of information about her childhood and education. I am most interested in learning about her time as national security advisor and Secretary of State. The book is long at 750 pages. I read these types of books to obtain knowledge therefore I keep an open mind while reading.The book appears to be a comprehensive look at the foreign policy strategy of the Bush administration. Rice defends many key decisions; she also acknowledges the mistakes and missteps made along the way. Rice admits that the administration mishandled concerns about the Kyoto climate change treaty and failed to respond positively, after the September 11 attacks, to NATO’s invocation of the “article five” that it was considered an attack on all NATO states. Rice reveals that the well-publicized dispute with Cheney and Rumsfeld were not personal but simply business-- policy differences. Cheney and Rumsfeld lambasted Rice in their books. She is more polite than they were insisting the difference were about policy not personality. As secretary of State she points out the nuclear pact with India and the disarming of Qaddafi, to the passionate commitment to Africa: programs to fight AIDS, development of grants, and pressure to reduce killings in Darfur. Rice did not reveal much about her personal life but I did notice two things that were important to her, prayer and exercise.The book is written in a matter of fact style of the Academic, which of course, she is, as her professorship at Sanford University indicates. She writes as if she is an ordinary person talking to you over tea. She writes with clarity. One thing I learned from the book is what the National Security Advisor does. I compliment her on the following: that she respected other person opinions and she gave credit to her deputies and assistants, which is rare to see in memoirs these days. I read this as an audio book downloaded from Audible. Rice narrated the book. I can recommend this book to anyone interested in history or political science.

  • Suzanne
    2018-11-24 05:30

    This is a great book that caused me to re-evaluate my thoughts about the Bush administration. While I was somewhat daunted by the 734 pages, I learned a TON about other parts of the world so am glad I read it. I would definitely recommend it.

  • Ru
    2018-11-24 07:29

    Condoleezza Rice may very well be the most intelligent woman in the world, and this nearly-800-page memoir is a worthy reflection of just such an accolade. This book is true to its title, & is far from an autobiography in almost every way. Dr. Rice reveals sparse details about her personal life, except when relevant, aside from relating tales of her humble beginnings, her parents & upbringing in Alabama, when a friend of hers was killed by the Ku Klux Klan; or of her love of playing classical piano, NFL football, and discovering golf. As a memoir of her years as the National Security Advisor and Secretary of State within the Bush (43) Administration, this book is about as rich & plentiful as one could hope in all of its precise, fascinating details.Dr. Rice's memoir is essentially a chronological history of all events she was involved in, from the election of President George W. Bush, to the response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to peace brokering between India and Pakistan, and Israel and Palestine, and even South Korea and North Korea. "Condi" as her friend President Bush almost always refers to her (causing her to wonder if using her nickname in official settings undermined her abilities at all, or was simply mildly embarrassing), is very even-keel in her diplomacy, and she rarely, if ever, loses her cool. It's exactly this trait that makes her such a favourite among so many of the world's leaders, as was the case with former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to this day.I must admit to finding the lengthy coverage in this book of the events that lead to the 2003 Iraq War to be particularly captivating. Obviously there have been many accusations that the premise by which war was mobilized on Iraq were lies concocted by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Usually such claims are made without merit, and this book verifies that incontrovertibly. While intelligence and data may not have been current or even accurate at times, the concept was simple: can a risk be taken that Iraq does not have weapons of mass destruction? Certainly not, and to the point where Ms. Rice is even offended by the suggestion that deception was involved in order to fight a war against Saddam Hussein further underscores the preposterous nature of the accusations. Going even a step further, under President Obama and a time when several arguably-more dangerous countries build weapons of mass destruction unchecked by the United States, the decision to topple Hussein as one of the world's worst dictators in history seems more that justified (to say nothing of the fact that it was never a unilateral decision made by just President Bush, or just his staff, or even just the United States).Condoleezza Rice is not without her detractors, but she does not use this book as a means to attack them to any salacious extent. Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and even VP Cheney, to an extent, did not always co-exist well with her, and while uncomfortable, it does seem to liken to disputes anyone may have with a co-worker, for example, but obviously in careers with much higher stakes. There are references to some less-than-cooperative moments with the former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, but Dr. Rice dismisses those as anything substantial quite readily. If there are moments of acrimony in this book, it is about the well-documented & reviled attack by Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer on Secretary Rice's personal life. As one would expect, Ms. Rice handles the entire event with dignity and class.This book is a veritable tome of political knowledge & is only as partisan by the Presidential administration that surrounds it. It is truly a revelation to get insights into that administration and also as to the inner workings of the offices of Secretary of State, and to a lesser extent (due to privacy and appropriately, national security) the office of the National Security Advisor. Dr. Rice is admirable & inspirational in her career, but more than that, she is an absolutely remarkable & brilliant woman, the likes of which makes her a rarity, but also a fantasic role model. An amazing book about an amazing woman's journey through the Washington political rat race.

  • Brandon H.
    2018-12-02 02:29

    Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." (Matt. 5:9) Whenever I read or think of that verse I will think of Condoleeza Rice. Her service to our country in Washington and especially as Secretary of State helped keep our nation safe and saved countless lives when nations in the middle east and the far east were on the brink of war. Without her efforts millions would probably have died and the world would be a much worse place today.Hearing the details of her job was enlightning as well as hearing how she negociated and worked with other government officials, prime ministers, and presidents was inspiring. She is a very intelligent woman of great character who lives in reality but reaches out for the best results possible. We need more people like her in government and in the public eye. She is someone our children, and especially our daughters, would do well to study and emulate. In an age when many of our celebrites, who have character of ill repute and a history of engaging in juvenile shenanigans are foolishly exalted as role models, Condoleezza Rice is someone who stands out as a wise and honorable woman worthy of such a role. And once again, like so many other biographies and books I've read I was reminded that how the press portrays people and events is terribly different from how they really are.

  • Sovatha
    2018-11-15 02:09

    This is the second book by Rice I've read. While her first book, Extraordinary Ordinary People, is more about her family and herself, this latter book is pretty much a history of her work since she became national security advisor in 2001 until she retires from government service in 2008. This book gives you incredible insights behind some of the major events in the international politics that was unfolded in the news media. It kinda connects the dots between what you see on TV or read in the paper and how policies that led to those events ate made. You also learned about relations between Rice and some of the senior staff in the Bush administration. For instance, I didn't know that Don Rumsfeld didn't quite get along well with Condoleezza Rice before reading this book. The book is rather long at 734 pages, and the fact that what is written in this book is pretty much her recollection of major events that happened during her 8 years in the government makes the book rather boring to read sometimes. I could see her attempts to insert personal opinions into how she perceived those events, but the book still lacks a bit of feelings and emotions one would expect in a memoir. Despite these drawbacks, I still think this is a great book to read. I would definitely recommend this book to students of Int'l Relations, int'l politics, and foreign service people.

  • Michael
    2018-12-09 04:31

    No Higher Honor supports author, Joel Mowbrey's book: 'Dangerous Diplomacy'. No Higher Honor besides giving behind the scenes stories & descriptions, which are very interesting, makes two strong points in my opinion that supports 'Dangerous Diplomacy': 1) the U.S. State Department's culture is to 'make a deal'. Any deal, just so there's a deal completed; regardless whether its in the U.S. best interest or NOT, just get a deal done, and 2)Almost every meeting, issue, event and situation that happens globally is a 'crisis'! And, the U.S. HAS to RESPOND IMMEDIATELY before the world destroys itself! The Intellectuals can and have justified our 'intervention' and 'meddling' in every country's political, social, educational, economical and cultural business. Condi Rice makes it clear that U.S. Foreign Policy (for quite sometime - prior to George W.)has a responsibility to bring democracy to every country, even by force if necessary. Our founding fathers policy was to be an example. Somewhere, somehow we've forgotten the founders original intent.Reminds me of former U.S. President, John Quincy Adams(son of founding father, John Adams) said, "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy".Regardless, I'm admirer of Condileeza Rice even though some of her foreign policy beliefs are at odds with the Founding Fathers.

  • David Huff
    2018-11-23 04:30

    A very detailed (sometimes excruciatingly so) account of Condi's term as NSA and then Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration. Her account is comprehensive and fascinating, and she is fair and professional toward all -- even those with whom she disagrees. The personal anecdotes sprinkled through this heavy volume were especially interesting. A gracious, classy lady who could be tough when needed, and one whom I greatly respect.

  • Marissa
    2018-12-09 07:12

    Wow, this book manages to make major domestic and international controversies seem boring and impersonal. Reads like a history text or a witness deposition.

  • Toby Harnden
    2018-12-14 00:29

    No Higher Honour: a Memoir of My Years in Washington by Condoleezza Rice; Condoleezza Rice’s memoir of life at the centre of George Bush’s White House, No Higher Honour, is a classic piece of score-settling with her rivals, says Toby Harnden. By Toby Harnden1009 words15 November© 2011 Telegraph Group Limited, London There’s a saying in Washington that every political memoir can be boiled down to six words: “If Only They’d Listened to Me." If that’s true then Condoleezza Rice’s weighty and rather ponderous account of her time as President George W Bush's National Security Adviser and Secretary of State is a classic of the genre.She was “flabbergasted" and “appalled", she writes, that the bellicose vice-president Dick Cheney had circumvented her to issue a harsh rejection of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. Some, she notes, wondered what all the fuss was about as everyone knew what Bush’s position on the issue was anyway.“But I knew better. As I predicted, we suffered through this issue over the years: drawing that early line in the sand helped establish our reputation for ‘unilateralism’. We handled it badly." Despite the nod to collective responsibility, that “we" plainly means “they".Rice, now back at Stanford University, from where she was recruited for Bush’s 2000 election campaign, also exhibits that other Washington trait: a determination to settle a few scores.In print, as in person, she is polite. She tries to be high-minded and frame her book as a sober examination of statecraft, but there is no hiding the steel, and tinge of bitterness, behind much of what she writes.Many would not blame her. This year has brought two blockbuster memoirs from Donald Rumsfeld, Bush’s Pentagon chief for six years, and Cheney, his vice-president for eight. In neither volume did Rice fare well.Rumsfeld lamented her “aversion to decisions", which he argued led to “disharmony", and her academic’s preference for consensus at all costs. His chum Cheney accused her of misleading Bush on North Korea and having “tearfully admitted" the Bush administration should not have apologised for the famous “16 words" about Niger uranium in his 2003 State of the Union speech.Having already branded Rumsfeld as “grumpy" and blasted Cheney’s “attack on my integrity", Rice sets about getting her indignation down on paper. Rumsfeld, she grouses, “resented" her role as the White House’s foreign policy co-ordinator.He was “confrontational" and once patronisingly referred to her as “bright". When she had been a junior official and he had been a senior statesman, she recalls, things had been fine between them. “A relationship between equals was much harder for him."Cheney is portrayed as all but subverting the presidency. After he managed to get Bush to sign, without her knowledge, an executive order setting up military commissions to try detainees, Rice went to the Oval Office to warn that either she or the White House counsel would have to resign if it happened again. Cheney aides and allies are singled out by name for arrogance and disloyalty.Although much kinder to Colin Powell, the former general is said to have wrongly suspected her of siding with Rumsfeld and Cheney (“He probably didn’t realise how often I took [his] case to the President sympathetically"). Powell, she argues, failed to assert himself with Bush, despite the fact that he “probably would have been President had he chosen to run" in 1996 – a dubious proposition but one much favoured by Powell acolytes.These dynamics within the Bush administration are, of course, largely familiar. What is most surprising is that Rice, who was almost relentlessly upbeat at the time in dismissing talk of conflicts, held such strong views while seldom expressing them.At times, she stoops to pettiness. When Cheney held a dinner at his house to celebrate the Iraq liberation, she records, “Colin and I were not included." A “member of Congress who purported to be my friend" is excoriated for having cancelled dinner at a time when Rice was under intense political pressure.There are occasional insights into just how Washington works. When Rice was facing a “tsunami of criticism" over the 16 words about uranium in Niger, she telephoned the late Tim Russert of NBC, then America’s most prominent political journalist, to ask him: “What do I need to do?" When he suggested she should show remorse, she went on television to do exactly that.Tony Blair is lauded as a statesman with a “willingness to do difficult and controversial things" and take actions, with Bush, “to radically change the status quo in world politics". Recalling Margaret Thatcher’s support for the Gulf War of 1991 and Blair’s determination to be part of the military coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003 even when Bush gave him a chance to bow out, she observes: “It seems when the chips are down, the British never go wobbly."Rice grew up in segregated Alabama and didn’t go to school with a white child until she was 12. One of her friends, Denise McNair, was killed in the Ku Klux Klan bombing of a Baptist church in 1963. Her pride at having ascended to such an exalted position in America is apparent.Overall, the impression is that she felt awed by the likes of Rumsfeld and Cheney and was outmanoeuvred by them.At the beginning of the book, she all but pleads for time before “history’s judgment" is rendered. At the end, she expresses gratitude for having been given “the chance to have tried". Despite her spirited case that things might have been different had she been heeded more, one senses she fears she fell short.* Toby Harnden’s Dead Men Risen (Quercus), an account of the Welsh Guards in Afghanistan, is out in paperback

  • Asmaa Elwany
    2018-12-01 06:27

    بداية صورة الغلاف اثارت اعجابى الشديد نظرت اليها كثيرا كى ارى تلك المراة التى كانت لفترة من الزمن مراة حديدية تستحق اعجاب كاريها قبل محبيها كتاب غنى جدا بالمعلومات : اولا:احداث الحادى عشر من سبتمبر لفت نظرى اعراب السيدة رايس عن اسفها واعتذارها لاكثر من موضع فى الكتاب(وليس غريب فهى تنتمى لدولة تقدر امن وحياة المواطن) ، المرة الاولى التى تذهب فيها الحرب الى امريكا ،ذاك الحدث الذى لعب دورا كبيرا فى تغيير اجندة بوش الابن ونظرة امريكا للعالم ثانيا:حرب افغانستان الحرب التى خاضتها ادارة بوش ردا على تنظيم القاعدة المحتمى بجبال افغانستان حسب ما ذكرته السيدة انها اكدت لى الاعتقاد بان تلك الحرب لم تكون مدروسة بالشكل الكافى ثالثا:غزو العراق ذاك الحدث الذى ما زال صعبا علي ان اتفهم كل جوانبه ،برغم عدم ذكر السيدة لتلك النقطة ولكن انا اعتقد فى القول بان ادارةبوش كانت تنتوى غزو العراق قبل دخوله للبيت الابيض ،لم يكن هناك اسلحة دمار شامل ، ابتدت امريكا التجهيز للحرب دون انتظار تقرير وكالة الطاقة الذرية عن ما اذا كان هناك اسلحة دمار شامل من عدمه ، ذكرت السيدة فى اكثر من موضع ان اسقاط نظام صدام كان مكسب كبير ، اذا لم تقم امريكا بغزو العراق ماذا كان سيحدث ؟ ماهو السيناريو البديل لاسقاط صدام ولوجود اصلاح ديمقراطى وانسانى يستحقه الشعب العراقى حقا لا اعرف حتى الان، ولكن وبعد مضى ثلاث عشر عاما على غزو العراق ما زالت ازمة العراق قائمة من حرب اهلية ومازال غياب العراق عن المشهد مستمر رابعا: القضية الفلسطينية الاسرائيلية التى ما زالت قائمة الى يومنا هذا ولا يعلم الا الله متى ينتهى هذا الكابوس اظهرت السيدة حرص الادارة على اقامة دولة فلسطينية وانهاء الازمة بشكل سلمى ولكنى قرات بين السطور انحياز السبدة بشكل كبير الى جوار الاسرائيلين وهو ما لم يلق اعجابى اطلاقا لم تكن تلك القراءة الاولى لى عن امريكا وكالعادة اثارت اعجابى الشديد اعتقد ان الكتاب الجيد هو الصديق الذى يثير الاسئلة ويقدم الكثير من المعلومات وحيث ان مذكرات السيدة رايس كانت كذلك فهو كتاب اكثر من جيدازداد اعجابى وتقديرى لكونداليزا رايس وفخرى بها كامراة ايضا

  • Susan
    2018-12-10 23:21

    A Standford graduate fluent in Russian and a trained concert pianist, Dr. Rice offers an insightful and vivid account of her eight years of service; entrenched in details of her punishing schedule as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State.A highly candid and detailed memoir of one of the highest ranking African-American women in the Bush administration. As observed from the halls of the White House, Dr. Rice shares her tension with some high ranking officials in Congress and various agencies, her working relationships with fellow Ivy League academics, her heart-warming moments with her father and the intricate and sometimes intense dialogues with international leaders. She uses eloquent, thought-provoking and honest language to capture the need to take action on time sensitive issues, her drive as a high-level policymaker and her determination to broker peace in unstable corners of the globe. Her motivations are admirable, her discipline is inspirational and she personifies perseverance. While this was a long read, it was incredibly informative with a strategic focus on international relations and Dr. Rice's constant dedication to diplomacy. In addition, I found this book to bring immense and deep insight into an administration that was highly criticized and can grow one's understanding of the entanglements of global politics post 9/11.

  • Amber
    2018-12-10 23:18

    Great memoir! As far as political memoirs go, I have only read a few. However, I think Condi's memoir is so refreshingly different than the others I have read. She writes a heavy intellectual and chronological account of her days as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under George W. Bush. She gave some great political, personal, and historical perspective to each issue she discusses. I felt she was candid with her feelings about certain policies and certain people which is always refreshing. Hillary Clinton's memoir of her time as Secretary of State (Hard Choices) was much more political and she tip-toed around her personal thoughts and feelings on policies and politicians. This felt much more real. There is some great info regarding 9/11, the lead-up to the Iraq War, Afghanistan and Pakistan, North Korea, Russia, and of course the Israeli/Palestine conflict. This is the memoir to read if you want to really understand the Bush years. I found it to be really insightful in conjunction with Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House.

  • Paul
    2018-11-17 00:19

    I have always admired Condoleeza Rice ever since she became a prominent figure in the George W. Bush Administration. Her Memoir of her time in Washington cemented my high opinion of her as a talented diplomat, an intellectual powerhouse, and a genuinely good person. The book itself is heavy in details as it covers relationships with many foreign leaders, the thought-process behind decisions and the difficulties of negotiating with such varied personalities and distinct cultural bias. This book knocks you in the head as you dive into and feel the massive responsibilities of the National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. The tidbits the American public was shown by the media during the eight years of the Bush Administration does not do justice to the actual work and diplomatic accomplishments of the team. No Higher Honor steps through the thought process and the real, behind-the-scenes diplomacy that protected America and our allies during what can arguably be considered one of the most challenging times in American history. Condoleezza Rice deserves an esteemed place in history not only for her journey as a person but her contributions to America. No Higher Honor was a fantastic read and learning experience. Highly recommended.

  • Ryan
    2018-12-09 04:27

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I bought the Kindle edition and sadly failed to look at how long the book is (750ish pages). I like politics, but not that much.My favorite part of the book was the epilogue, which was a delightful pep-talk about Democracy and the Arab Spring. I don't tend to agree with the GOP, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this book. This book helped me realize that I'm more of an independent than I ever gave myself credit for (I agree with GOP more than I thought). Even though I already complained about how long it was, I have to say, I kind of liked how thorough it was. I had to tidy up my world Geography, and definitely tune my memory for quick recollection of people, places, and events. I learned a lot about the Middle-East and Russia from this book, and it helped me get up to speed with North Korea, China, etc. Of course, now I have to fill in the gap from 2008 to 2013. Ouch. Anyway, it only took me 22 months to finish this book, I'm proud of myself.

  • T.Kay Browning
    2018-11-24 03:17

    I think I've probably had the most respect for Ms. Rice out of any of the members of this administration. She always seemed serious and focused on getting the job done rather than pushing some personal or political agenda. I disagree with some of her politics and even more with some of the policies that she had to enforce, but I believe that her motives are good. She paints a pretty clear picture where most of the Bush presidency was a war with her and Colin Powell on one side and Rumsfeld and Cheney on the other and the President trying to find a path in between. She is very forgiving and respectful of the president, even though she has to rhetorically shake her head at some of his sillier antics, like joining in traditional dances. I think her view of the administration will probably be the ones that historians take, especially if Iraq and Afghanistan turn out all right in a decade or so.

  • Vikas Datta
    2018-12-10 00:32

    Quite interesting actually... you may well differ from several of Dr Rice's beliefs and conclusions but there is no doubt that she does present convincing arguments and possesses courage of convictions... a fair detailed guide to American diplomacy in the turbulent first decade of the 21st century...

  • Casey Middlebrooks
    2018-12-06 04:17

    This is an excellent look into the inner workings of the government. I enjoyed the read, but after her previous memoir this one was understandbly more academic in nature and required more focus.

  • Kit
    2018-11-30 03:26

    Really enjoyed getting insight into her justification for policy decisions. It was also nice to see that good communicators aren't magicians.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-16 03:18

    This book is a worthwhile read for people interested in government service or the Bush Administration. It's also incredibly long and feels less like a personal autobiography than a history. A few thoughts:First, I definitely recommend listening to this book in audio format. Condi herself does the narration, and hearing her voice gives you a sense of her poise and competence. Second, don't expect this book to feel like a true autobiography/memoir. Although it is Condi's story in that it follows events in which she was involved, there is very little personal information in the book. You hear little about Condi's personal history or her life outside of work. In addition, you don't get very many of Condi's personal thoughts. Sure, you get her defense of various Bush Administration policies and many articulate and interesting academic thoughts. But Condi doesn't share very many personal impressions of various events/leaders/other Bush Administration officials (except for the bizarre stories about Qaddafi!). This book feels much more like a history with an intelligent, informed, and fairly neutral narrator. Third, I found the book to provide interesting insight into how the U.S. makes and maintains relationships with foreign countries. The book highlights the day to day work of a diplomat and the role that the seemingly mundane can play in foreign policy. For example, whether to call something a "conference" or a summit or a meeting, or when the Secretary of State should visit a country, must be considered as part of our foreign policy.

  • Jerome
    2018-11-18 00:09

    I read this when I was 17.This was a REALLY good book on the tenure of Condoleezza Rice and her time at State and NSC. Lots of interesting details on the inner workings of these institutions. One role that the national security advisor usually finds himself/herself in is having to manage the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense, particularly challenging for Rice because Rumsfeld and Powell rarely got along. Interesting accounts of her management of Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Russia, and peace talks with Israel and Palestine. Her accounts of diplomacy were interesting. Unfortunately (and sadly), the average American only cares about foreign policy to the extent that something overseas alarms us. Our collective idea of foreign policy is: "I hope those darn idiots in (uh, what was that country called again?) stay quiet and don't do something REALLY stupid like start a war." As long as the rest of the world "behaves itself", the average American doesn't really give a shit about what happens in the rest of the world as long as they can eat what they want, do what they want, and complain about stuff they know almost nothing about anyway. Americans are prone to see the world in black and white and fail to appreciate its complexity. So I think the average reader will find her accounts of diplomacy a little tedious.It seems to me that any State Department position is a thankless job because Americans think the world is so simple or for some reason think diplomacy is cowardly and no alternative to military force.

  • Pj
    2018-12-06 06:26

    I am almost done with this long long book, and I'm afraid I remember very little of it. The impressions are still there - Rice is an academic writer, her prose is decent but lacks any emotion that I relate to. The memoir reads like a defense of reasons to stay with the Bush administration, and at times, she even feels compelled to defend Bush, writing more than once that he is wiser than he appears to the public. Rice comes off as a very good person, led by monotheistic beliefs and standards, with a few surprising moments where she agrees with no one and her beliefs are entirely nonpartisan and with many moments where she seems to misplace her compassion in support of academic reasoning. As an outsider to politics and even the news, I don't know if her facts are accurate or not, but I do get the impression I can trust her more than anyone else from the administration at that time besides Colin Powell. Her analyses are far more balanced than any politician I hear today, but then again, she is out of the public office, which is why she is free to be candid; though she could be a shrewd calculating woman who puts forward a front of simple morality with a hefty dose of academic intelligence to fool the public while pursuing some conservative ideological cause that involves money. I don't know, and I don't know if I care.

  • Whit
    2018-11-18 06:21

    Too long, even for a Condi lover like myself. Every time I read a political memoir, I wish American politicians - or maybe this should be a universal rule - would be required to get an MFA in nonfiction first. I think that would be a good prerequisite before entering public service. But this book does shine light on the Bush Administration. You thought they were disorganized. That maybe they didn't think everything through. You have no idea. She reveals some of what we already know: Donny Rumsfeld and Dicky Cheney were fuckholes and President Bush rarely had a full grasp on any issue, whether it was the Israeli-Palestine conflict or Indian-Pakistani relations. She gives some great quotes. One of my favorites from Rumsfeld is at an NSC meeting in which he barks to her as he slams the door behind him, "I don't do detainees."In the end, you feel for this person, this girl from Alabama, this very smart, hard working American who met the right people and found herself sitting across from Putin or praying in a black SUV as the motorcade zigzagged through the unsecured streets of Baghdad hoping that she might not get it.

  • Jay
    2018-11-15 04:34

    This political memoir doesn't come across like some others I've read. Instead of a "see how smart I am" focus, this one seems focused on "see how a normal person reacts to these world events". Rice appears less a leader than an observer and occasionally an expert. Bush appears in this book to be the wise man in the corner who gets the last word. Rice repeatedly calls the Oval Office "the Oval", which sounds like something on a gameshow or in professional wrestling. She doesn't call Bush "pres", I only noticed the Oval Office got a slang-like shortening. I listened to this on unabridged audio read entirely by Rice, and she does an excellent job, although the book is quite long and can drag when repeatedly dealing with the same geopolitial hotspots and personalities. This is a good book for giving a taste of the Bush White House (the "White"?) and Bush in a favorable manner.

  • Amy
    2018-11-26 07:31

    Rice recounts her Washington days with an honesty sure to upset other members of the Bush administration. Offering personal accounts, as well as historical context, this is the best memoir to come from Bush-era staffers. As bad as the Bush years were to some, withour Rice's voice of reason, they no doubt would have been much worse. I left this book with a tremendous amount of respect for Rice and the challenges she faced in the White House.