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Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick Hardcover – May 29, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594036047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594036040
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


“Peter Collier has succeeded in doing what Jeane Kirkpatrick could not do. Drawing upon her unfinished memoir, as well as countless interviews and other sources, he has written a candid yet sympathetic account of the personal life and public career of an extraordinary woman.”

—Gertrude Himmelfarb, author of The Moral Imagination and The People of the Book


“In sterling prose filled with good sense, Peter Collier masterfully chronicles the nontraditional career of Jeane Kirkpatrick—devoted mother and wife, brilliant teacher and scholar, dauntless representative to the UN, hawkish public intellectual during the Cold War. He reminds us that Kirkpatrick’s career was marked by a lot of ‘what ifs,’ but also that her influence on U.S. foreign policy ran far deeper than is usually imagined.”

—Victor Davis Hanson, author of A War Like No Other and The End of Sparta


“Peter Collier has written a vivid and moving account of a remarkable life whose complexity he renders with subtlety and eloquence. He understood Jeane’s ideas and her significance, and brilliantly weaves both into a rich tapestry that is both astute and intimate. Collier shows convincingly how Jeane’s life shaped her ideas and how those ideas shaped our history.”

—Richard Perle, Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration

About the Author

Peter Collier was the founding editor of Encounter Books and currently acts as a consultant. He has worked as an author and editor for the last thirty years. During that time, he has written novels, short stories and screenplays, along with best selling biographies. Referred to in the New York Times as “America’s premier biographer of dynastic tragedy,” Collier is best known for The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty; The Kennedys: An American Dream; The Fords: An American Epic; and Destructive Generation (all with David Horowitz). He is also the author of The Fondas: A Hollywood Dynasty and The Roosevelts: An American Saga. Recent books include Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty, with photographs by Nick Del Calzo, and The Anti-Chomsky Reader, co-edited with David Horowitz.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By RSProds TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Five EXCEPTIONAL Stars. Author and publisher Peter Collier has written an excellent, and first-time ever, biography of Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan's aggressive, decidedly anti-communist, and highly effective United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Based on numerous discussions over the years with Ms Kirkpatrick, access to her still-unpublished autobiography and many Kirkpatrick confidants, this biography is very detailed, wide-ranging, and ultimately an in-depth look at her life and times. Born in 1926 in Oklahoma, Jeane Duane Jordan rose from somewhat humble Oklahoma roots and worked her way through the educational advantages afforded a young single female to graduate from Barnard and Columbia, bolstered by trips to France. Married to a former intelligence officer, Evron "Kirk" Kirkpatrick, and a mother of 3, she wrote the momentous foreign policy essay Dictatorships and double standards: Rationalism and reason in politics that caught the interest of Ronald Reagan who invited her, a Democrat who later became Republican, to join his future administration. As a 'Reaganaut', she was also one of the most visible 'Reagan Democrats' during the campaign against President Carter. After the election and her appointment, the author describes how she revitalized and re-defined the roles and activities of the US ambassador. In this book, we meet persons such as "Fat" Jordan, Franz Neumann, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ralph Bunche, Hubert Humphrey, President Jimmy Carter, Andrew Young, Daniel Moynihan, Charles Krauthammer, and the entire Reagan group of heavy hitters with whom she would forever be identified: Bush, Haig, Meese, Kissinger, Weinberger et al.Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Emmanuel Maicas on July 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This biography about a member of the Reagan administration is heavy on political sciences yet very readable (very good writer). I was particularly interested in her political evolution, starting as a Democrat of the JFK and LBJ type, i.e. fiercely anti-communist, pro-capitalist and pro-freedom, who became disappointed with Jimmy Carter's friendliness with socialists and became a "Democrat-for-Reagan".

This split in the Democratic party is still felt today and will probably be determinant in the next Presidential election in Nov 2012.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Based on the fact that there are only two other reviews so far, I would say that this is an undiscovered gem of a book. The writing is clear, accessible, and always very close to the subject, never straying into arcane topics or uninteresting tangents. If you happen to agree with Kirkpatrick's politics and theories, so much the better; but even if you don't, she stands as a wonderful example of a person not afraid to speak her mind in the face of opposition. She is now on my short list of historical figures I would like to meet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Truman on September 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Collier authored an amazing biography of a remarkable woman---- America's Margaret Thatcher who stood along side Ronald Reagan in defeating communism and making the world safer for freedom. Had she decided to run, Jeane Kirkpatrick had the potential to become America's first woman President. I had the honor and pleasure of knowing her and feel that the author well captured the essence of this dynamic and indispensable person whose influence and presence were a blessing to our great nation and indeed the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MMH on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This work is a fine and carefully crafted story of the life, accomplishments,and struggles of Dr. Kirkpatrick. In addition to the trajectory that took her from America's heartland to the international stage, the book chronicles the departure of the Scoop Jackson and other centrist Democrats from the party in the wake of the McGovernite take over. Dr. Kirpatrick's political philosophy which clearly distinguished between authoritarian governments and dictatorships is described as playing a central part in her role in the administration of Ronal Reagan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Copeland on January 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was fabulous. I bought copies for each if my granddaughters as I felt it would be inspirational for them. Have recommended to many of my friends for their grand daughters as well. I feel Jeane Kirkpatrick is our Margaret Thatcher...a brilliant, courageous woman who pulled no punches in her career, our damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead lady.

Barbara Copeland
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sandman on January 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jeane Kirkkpatrick was a formidable woman for our government. This book seeems to be an accurate account of her years working for the USA as well as how intelligent she was. We need someone like her in public office now.

Political Woman: the Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 28, 2012
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A great book about an important period of time. This should be required reading on both sides of the political isle.
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