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No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in…

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

by Condoleezza Rice

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As incredibly interesting as it is long! I certainly have a new appreciation of the work of the State Department after reading this. ( )
  GTTexas | Sep 27, 2013 |
Forget the politics and just read this for the sneak peeks into the complicated world of diplomacy. The state of the world is not just black and white and Ms. Rice proves that through the many stories of diplomacy that made the world safer and diplomacy that might have had the opposite effect.

I must admit that sometimes there were just too many details (obviously, I'll never be Sec. of State). It is just those millions of details that any National Security Adviser or Secretary of State must deal with. The pace that she maintained throughout her tenure in Washington is beyond grueling. It's hard to imagine someone being awakened in the middle of the night and be expected to have the presence of mind to deal with world altering events. Those insights into the life of someone in her position makes the book well worth reading. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 22, 2013 |
Picking up immediately where Ms. Rice's first book, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, left off, No Higher Honor details her tenure as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State during some of the most pivotal moments in the history of the United States. Listening to the audiobook, read by Ms. Rice, I was eager to hear her views on the events of 9/11, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and the dealings of US foreign policy during the Bush years.

There are many controversial memoirs covering this historic period of time. While I will get to them in the future, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Rice's rendition. Since first hearing of her, I have always respected and admired her. Her first book left me in awe of her parents. No Higher Honor left me appreciative of her experience, poise and ability to make things happen in the rough world of international politics. The juxtaposition of the two accounts helped me understand better her attitudes and actions, coming so far from the segregated Alabama South to the first female African-American Secretary of State. Now matter the political affiliation, this is an impressive journey.

What I appreciate most from the reading of this book were her explanations behind the events. I found myself marveling several times at the situations I thought I knew and realizing there was so much more at stake I had not heard. In a very approachable and understandable way, she helped me understand the complex and high stakes the world of international diplomacy. Her management style shone through. As a manager, I appreciated the different ways she worked with the different leaders, each with their own style and abilities. I could tell just how much George Bush depended on her and was able to leverage her talents in the best ways possible. She fielded some of the most complex and difficult situations in recent history.

Much has been made in the press of the conflicting relationships and interactions of the Bush cabinet and advisors. Ms. Rice politely goes into her views and interactions with the various players. She refuses to get down in the mud and wrestle, though, a trait I truly appreciate. I remember commenting to a colleague when I heard this book was forthcoming that I hoped she would not use it as a "tell-all, throw people under the bus" forum. She did not disappoint me. Where she disagreed with the strong forces of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and others, she was very cordial, explaining as best she could where she thought they were coming from and why she acted as she did. She remains, in my opinion, one of the classiest acts in Washington.

Another aspect of the book I enjoyed was her letting us peek into her personal life. I was enjoyed the stories of playing with Yo Yo Ma, her continued love of football and juggling the demands of her career with family relationships. How patient they were her constant phone calls and interruptions to holiday festivities and such. The demands of office interfered, but I could tell she worked hard to maintain as much of herself through it all. Eight years is a long time to work at that level of energy and stress. I commend and thank her for her ability to shoulder it all.

Naturally much more politically charged than her previous novel, it is no less enjoyable. Whether or not one agrees with the politics of the Bush presidency, the opportunity to understand more of Condoleezza Rice's influence on historical events is a treat. I thank her for her service in two of the toughest jobs in Washington. ( )
  DanStratton | Mar 18, 2012 |
This was an amazing read and I know that a lot of people will be scared off by the number of pages but it reads very well.
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in every administration and Dr. Rice takes you on a tour serving as both the National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.
Highly recommend this book for those interested in politics and international relations. ( )
  gopfolk | Dec 29, 2011 |
Rice has written a second memoir that covers her years as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State during the Bush administration. I listened to the audio book version, and I had the same complaint about this book as I did her first book: the volume quality is very uneven. I suspect that comes from her not being a professional narrator. While she reads very well, it is rather annoying to have to keep adjusting the volume all of the time one is driving to either hear her or then to avoid being blasted out. She is a very good reader, however. The book covers all of the high points and low points of the Bush years and demonstrates her close relationship with the 43rd president. There were 24 discs in the audio version so it's quite lengthy. I found it very interesting and came away still admiring her tremendously. ( )
  kblinn | Nov 29, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 030758786X, Hardcover)

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.
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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:36 -0400)

A former national security advisor and Secretary of State offers the compelling story of her eight years serving at the highest levels of government, including the difficult job she faced in the wake of 9/11.

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