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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Madam Secretary: A Memoir Paperback – April 6, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

This memoir by America's first female Secretary of State is a deeply conventional book, full of long accounts of negotiations and reflections on the proper uses of American power. Albright is not out to settle scores (her criticisms of colleagues are mild at worst) and seems, on balance, pleased with the foreign-policy record of the Clinton Administration. This might have made a dull book, were it not for Albright's appealing character—personally ingenuous but professionally sophisticated, earnest but hard-nosed. Her eye for details—clothing, food, travel conditions—helps bring the diplomat's world to life, and her portraits of foreign leaders are lively and evocative. The result is a book that creates a sense of policy made by real people, not by world-bestriding titans.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Review

"A different kind of memoir...it's Albright unplugged." -- USA Today

"Madeleine Albright's memoir is unlike that of any other Secretary of State. It captures the tension between insecurity and ambition..." -- New York Times Book Review

"One of the most diverting political bios in recent memory." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Provides a sweeping overview of foreign crises during the entire eight year term of the Clinton presidency..." -- Seattle Times

"The fascinating story of a remarkable person who has served her country well." -- Dallas Morning News
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax (April 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401359620
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401359621
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Madeleine Albright is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Madam Secretary, The Mighty and the Almighty, Memo to the President, and Read My Pins. She was U.S. Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. Her distinguished career of public service includes positions in the National Security Council, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Madeleine Albright is a unique and interesting person - no doubt about that. She has worked her way up from refugee to UN Ambassador and the first ever woman Secretary of State. She is open and honest and has a fun sense of humor that helps keep her many achievements in perspective. Her biography is a bit nerdy but well worth reading and should inspire many more girls and women to stretch for the stars.
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She made me understand what was really happening in the world behind all the confusing sensational headlines. I wish I had known it at the time.
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Madeleine provides behind the scene insight into the fall of the Iron Curtain/Berlin Wall and the introduction of a free market economy in Central and Eastern Europe. Shortly after reading her Memoir I toured nine countries along the Danube and saw the importance of the spark of freedom that her father passed along to her. One person made a difference; especially one with her energy, language skills, and cultural familiarity. This book gives all of the nitty gritty details that made her the woman she is and gave her the strength to be the right person at the right time to usher in major changes in that part of the world. Fascinating!
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I chose this book after reading PRAGUE WINTER which was hard to put down as Albright so well recounts her family's life story during the World War 11 days. MADAM SECRETARY was on my book shelf so to facilitate my reading I down loaded it on my KINDLE. Her writing reveals her personal pursuit of her call to teach and serve in government. She is good model for young women today.
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Format: Paperback
I chose to read this book as I have always been an admirer of Madeleine Albright. The book certainly confirms my views on her as a person.

The book can roughly be devided into two parts. her life until she became secretary of state and her life as secretary of state.

The first part of book is very good in explaining on how she as a child of refugees became secretary of state. Her journey is remarkable and full of sadness and joy. Her description of her homeland and how her own history has shaped her is very well written and reads well. Her tough, but warm personality comes though as she speaks of people, places and history dear to her. It also shows why her background was such an advantage as secretary of state. She had been there, she had seen what war does to countries and families first hand. The fact that she speaks many languages also was an advantage as with language you learn the culture of a foreign country. Yet in spite (or should it be as a result) of that knowledge she develops a very American viewpoint.

The second part of the book describes her time as secretary of state and I feel it is more of a political summing up than a memoir. There are some really good parts (I enjoyed the chapter on North Korea inmensely) but I cannot escape the feeling that this part of the book was greatly curtailed by the fact that she could not talk openly as state secrets may have been involved. It reads as if it is strained, almost as if the person is different from the first part of the book. There is a genuine note that she feels that the new govenrnment undid a lot of her work and I have to agree with her. Yet on occasion her sense of humour comes through, but also her exasperation with some of the other political leaders.
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I bought "Madam Secretary" almost five years ago, and only read it recently, during my holidays. I now regret not having done so before, but then, it is always best to do something late than never at all.

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become Secretary of State in the United States, shares with us the story of her life, and a look behind closed doors regarding events that we can already find in the pages of history books. In this book you will find the kind of details regarding her professional life that will allow you to understand things like the dynamics of high stakes negotiations, or the important role that humor plays when trying to avoid direct confrontation.

In her collaboration with Bill Woodward, Albright manages to engage the reader, and even make him laugh. Can you help but smile when you read that "The mood was good - deceptively so. The summit would rapidly deteriorate into an exercise similar to the herding of cats"? Or fail to appreciate Albright's self-deprecating humor when she said to the Security Council that action on an issue had to be delayed until she received orders from Washington, because "The issue will not be decided until the fat lady sings"?

On the whole, "Madam Secretary" is a book that I loved. In my opinion, it is a very good choice for people who like to read witty and well-written autobiographies, but a particularly special treat for those that are also interested or working in the field of International Relations. Highly recommended...

Belén Alcat
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I thought I knew about Madeleine Albright and her time at the State Dept. I clearly did not know very much. This book was written in a very personal way to give us a full picture of Ms. Albright or Madeleine as I feel I should call her now. As it turns out, she was not always so self confident and polished. She was a wife and mother before she was a diplomat and got her start in politics through doing volunteer work in Washington -- who knew. The book was long and went into a bit too much detail about the issues she faced at the State Dept but it was very interesting to get more details than one would get in the newspaper. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will probably read her other books too.
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