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No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington Hardcover – November 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“In her memoir, NO HIGHER HONOR, Rice looks back, offering unexpected candor about her tenure as national security adviser in Bush’s first term and as secretary of state…the [book’s] moments of self-doubt and regrets are a revelation…Rice offers sharp and penetrating portraits of foreign leaders…Her memoir is a reminder that foreign-policy choices facing the United States are complex and difficult, with no easy solutions…Rice has acquitted herself well in telling her side of the story; now she awaits the judgment of history.”
--The Washington Post

“Rice provides a vivid account of the tumultuous years after Sept. 11, 2001…the latest in a string of memoirs emerging from Bush administration figures trying to define the history of their tenure [this book is] the most expansive record of those eight years by any of the leading participants.”
--The New York Times

“The fascination of Rice’s memoir, and it is fascinating, is less in the broad vision put forth for a more democratic world than in the gritty description of the way decisions were made in the White House and in the State Department as the Bush Administration sought to adapt to a universe radically changed by Al  Qaeda’s attacks on the United States in 2001.  Rice’s account of the immediate aftermath, as seen from inside the halls of the White House, is both vivid and disturbing.”

“Condoleezza Rice has a lot in common with Henry A. Kissinger…Now, like Kissinger, Rice has written a memoir drenched in details of the daily work of diplomacy…hers is a great story.”

“Important…her stories [of the aftermath of 9-11] add texture to the well-known history of those days and weeks, sometimes movingly so.”
--Wall Street Journal

About the Author

CONDOLEEZZA RICE was the sixty-sixth U.S. Secretary of State and the first black woman to hold that office.  Prior to that, she was the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor.  She is a professor at Stanford University, and co-founder of the RiceHadley Group.  Rice is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030758786X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307587862
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

262 of 281 people found the following review helpful By Alan F. Sewell on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most difficult books I've read --- not because of poor writing or lack of clarity, but because foreign policy during President George W. Bush's administration will remain controversial for the rest of our lives. Bush and his people are judged primarily in terms of the overwhelmingly polarizing Iraq War. Either you believe that the war was justified because Saddam Hussein posed a direct threat to the USA or you believe that "W" was at best a dumb cowboy and at worst a "war criminal" who led us into a gratuitous war.

If you believe the war was justified then everything that Dr. Rice --- who served as Bush's National Security Advisor in his first term and his Secretary of State in the second term --- writes in this book will make perfect sense to you, especially Condi's assessment of the necessity for going to war:

THE PRESENTATION of the case against Saddam had three elements. First, we would review his transgressions against the international community and against his own people. Saddam had signed a ceasefire agreement in 1991 and was systematically violating every aspect of it. Second, we would inform the world of what we knew about his continuing pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, his support for terrorism, and his oppression of his own people. Finally, we would paint a picture of the dangers inherent in failing to address the decade-old threat of Saddam Hussein.

If you've already convinced yourself that Bush was a warmongering cowboy then you won't think much of this book and have no reason to buy it. Because people have already hardened their positions either supporting or opposing the Iraq War, the book isn't likely to be read with an inquisitive spirit of trying to learn anything new.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful By W. Weber on November 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Even as one who wouldn't think of giving a look at the take on the Bush years from the former President, Vice President or first Secretary Of Defense, my belief was Condoleezza Rice deserved a chance. Her view is somewhat what one would expect but enlightening non the less. She covers in detail the seemingly endless crises during the entire 8 years and does so in an easy, educational manner. The efforts in trying to bring about an agreement for establishment of a Palestinian State were long, trying and unfortunately for all who care, futile. Her efforts seem almost Herculean and enough to cause a physical breakdown in most. I for one am grateful for her efforts and believe we are in a better place because of them in the Middle East and around the globe. I was glued to the book from the beginning and would urge anyone interested in foreign affairs to read it.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By V. L. Wilson on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it." (anon)

I read the entire book, all fifty-eight chapters, within several days - don't expect a quick easy read - this is a detailed and focused foreign policy book by Dr. Condi Rice who educates the reader as she travels thruout the world skillfully engaging world leaders in helping solve serious global problems, most of which seem unsolvable.

How refreshing to read an honest memoir by a young intelligent academic who held her president in high esteem yet refused to be intimidated by him or anyone else for that matter! I suggest you read her first memoir published last year up to the point of accepting the position of National Security Advisor, before you read this one. It will provide a background for this lengthy book describing her White House years with George W. Bush.

This book is a "window" into the White House inner circle. You will learn just what a National Security Advisor actually does. Later, following Colin Powell as Secretary of State, Condi literally takes the reader with her as she travels all over the world for four years with very little time for rest and recreation. As a talented musician she relaxed by playing piano, dining with friends and family, and learning to play a little golf. She explains how her faith sustained her during crisis after crisis, frustrations, and disappointments. She respected other opinions, knew world leaders on a first name basis, and won hearts with her calm demeanor. She gives credit to her deputies and assistants - a nice touch.
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109 of 128 people found the following review helpful By raven on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Although I have different political views than Condi, I consider her to be of the highest integrity. This extremely powerful book is a must read. To those who leave negative reviews based on person bias, READ THE BOOK before you make assumptions!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DanStratton on March 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.
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