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Madam Secretary: A Memoir by Madeleine…

Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003)

by Madeleine Albright

Other authors: Bill Woodward (Collaborator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I am a big fan of Madeleine Albright and this book did not disappoint. This memoir tells the story of Albright's career in service, focusing mostly on her work in the UN and as Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration. It covers a lot of ground, and was a great primer for all international issues of the 1990s. I enjoyed her writing style and her wit, and felt that she was very open and honest with her successes and failures. Highly recommended for those interested in a great woman or the time period. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
4.5 stars. This was a long read but it was enjoyable. Albright's humor and writing made the content readable. It was a good balance of history, personal commentary, and reflection. Albright is truly an incredible woman for her dedication to her passions and to serving her country. There is one thing all readers can gather from this memoir: this read really showed how human the individual political actors are. It reminded me that presidents, prime ministers, and diplomats in general are all subject to the same emotions we are. We can all throw tantrums and make decisions just to spite others. We all make mistakes and wish we did things differently in hindsight. In short, I enjoyed this memoir because it put a human face to history and politics. They're not just words on a page or a shape on a map. They are people led by individuals who are only human.
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  BefuddledPanda | Dec 4, 2017 |
An incredibly educational look at a fascinating life - and I highly recommend the audiobook which Albright narrates herself. The focus on this book is certainly on Albright's years as secretary of state under President Clinton, although her entire life is covered. I definitely feel like I have a different take on foreign affairs (although I might need to follow-up this book with one by Colin Powell or Condi Rice). I appreciated Albright's straight-faced sense of humor and I would like to explore another of her books - Prague Winter. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Sep 27, 2016 |
memoir, political science
  asiwomenscenter | Sep 1, 2010 |
Madeleine Albrbright was a star in Clinton administration, though there always seemed to be an urge in the media to 'play her down'. Maybe it was because of her rather dull appearance? She says in this book that one of the reasons her husband gave her for divorcing her was that she had become very 'old-looking'. Certainly she had always a frowning earnestness in her face, and she admits to being, more or less, always like that, even during her days in Kent School in Denver where she founded an 'International Affairs Club' and named herself as its president. There is something very disarming about this admission and about the way she includes a photo of the club members with herself centre stage (as befits a president!).

It is an entertaining and enlightening book and for those who feel that the Rwandan genocide is a stain on the UN and, because of its power, the US, Madeleine does not duck the issue. She details the complications, the UN bickering, the dreadful US experience in Somalia as reasons for that failure to act but does not shirk from admitting that she deeply regrets not advocating that the US take effective action which might have saved thousands of lives. 'Many people would have thought I was crazy and we would never have won support from Congress, but I would have been right, and possibly my voice would have been heard' (p.155). Of course it's easy to express sorrow after the event ('History is written backwards but lived forwards', p.154) but throughout her book she comes across as someone who is sincere and her sincerity is apparent here also. It really was a dreadful chapter in our history as humans on this planet and she is fully aware of this and is deeply saddened by it.

Then the question of her Jewish ancestry. Very vexed. How could she not have known about it, given her refugee background, her father's flight from Europe, & etc.? She writes that she began to receive letters around the time just before her accession to the post of Secretary of State 'which made me think my parents might have been of Jewish ancestry'. (p.222). The media went to town on the story after her nomination. She writes: 'I was made to feel like a liar and my father, whom I adored, was portrayed as a heartless fraud' (p.235). All I can say is that if she genuinely did not know, then it really was a dreadful time for her and she was treated most unfairly. If she did know, it was also a dreadful time and it was her own business. Certainly it had nothing to do with whether or not she was a good Secretary of State, good for the US and good for the world. Which I think she was.

This book is worth reading. It covers a lot of ground, is full of very human insights into the personal life of someone who was at the crossroads of international affairs at a time when some very dark things were happening, and it is written in an easy accessible style, this last quality no doubt due in part her having the collaboration of Bill Woodword. ( )
  Eamonn12 | Jun 2, 2009 |
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Madeleine Albrightprimary authorall editionscalculated
Woodward, BillCollaboratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winqvist, ToreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786868430, Hardcover)

Madeleine Albright is one of the most admired women of our era and the rst in American history to serve as Secretary of State. For eight years, during Bill Clinton's two presidential terms, she was a decision-maker and inside observer of the most dramatic episodes of recent years-from NATO's decision to halt ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East. Now, in an outspoken memoir, she shares her story and provides a ringside view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. Albright's story begins with her childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee, whose family fled rst Hitler and then the Communists. In America, Albright grew up to be a passionate advocate of civil and women's rights and followed a zigzag path to a career that ultimately placed her in the upper stratosphere of diplomacy and policy-making in her adopted country. Refreshingly candid, Madam Secretary brings to life the world leaders Albright dealt with intimately in her years of service and the battles she fought to prove her worth in a male-dominated arena. There are colorful portraits of such leading American gures as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, Jesse Helms, and of a host of fascinating foreign ofcials-Vaclav Havel, Yasser Arafat, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, King Hussein, Vladimir Putin, Slobodan Milosevic, and North Korea's mysterious Kim Jong-Il. Besides these many encounters with the famous and powerful, we get to know Albright the private woman: her life raising three daughters, the painful breakup of her marriage to the scion of one of America's leading newspaper families, and the discovery late in life of her own Jewish ancestry and that her grandparents had died in concentration camps. Madam Secretary is sure to be one of the signature books of the early years of the twenty-rst century-a tapestry both intimate and panoramic, personal and public, a rich memoir destined to become a classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:20 -0400)

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"For eight years, during Bill Clinton's two presidential terms, Madeleine Albright was an active participant in the most dramatic events of recent times - from the pursuit of peace in the Middle East to NATO's humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. Now, in an outspoken memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence." "That story begins with Albright's childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee, whose family first fled Hitler, then the Communists. Arriving in the United States at the age of eleven, she grew up to be a passionate advocate of civil and women's rights and followed a zigzag path to a career that ultimately placed her in the upper stratosphere of diplomacy and policy-making in her adopted country. She became the first woman to serve as America's secretary of state and one of the most admired individuals of our era."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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