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Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace Hardcover – Other Calendar, October 7, 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 433 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Washington Post:
Worthy Fights is Panetta’s addition to the Cabinet bookshelf, and it’s very readable, with the frank descriptions of personalities and events that distinguish this genre at its best.”

About the Author

Leon Panetta served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009–2011, and as secretary of defense from 2011–2013. An Italian American Democrat, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977–1993, the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993–1994, and President Clinton’s chief of staff from 1994–1997. He is the founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, and has served as professor of public policy at his alma mater, Santa Clara University.

Jim Newton is editor at large of the Los Angeles Times, where he has worked for twenty-five years as a reporter, editor, bureau chief, and columnist. He is the author of two critically acclaimed biographies, Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made and Eisenhower: The White House Years.
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Product Details

  • Series: Worthy fights
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press; 1St Edition edition (October 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594205965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594205965
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First off, let me just say that my opinion is a bit biased. I'm a staunch conservative, but that said, I really tried to be objective here. I picked this up from another store out of pure curiosity. Normally, I can't stand disgruntled employee books. They write with an agenda and that's usually revenge. I bought because I felt it amusing that it was happening to Obama for a change, but I have to admit, this book surprised me.

I disagree with a lot of reviewers in that he was self serving in any way. I think his intention was to defend himself to the public. He doesn't defame Obama and his administration at all, but does offer some criticism and sets the record straight on many rumors. Of course he offers his opinions, but what memoirs don't? Isn't that the point of a memoir?

It's really a shame that liberals are viciously attacking this man over this book. There is no reason to do so at all! Clearly he respects Obama and much of his administration, even if there were disagreements.

Despite the fact that I don't agree with all his views, I think it's well written and quite respectable. I think he's being honest, but a little defensive. Still, I think it's well worth the read.
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Format: Hardcover
Leon Panetta’s new book seems to walk the line of both wanting to support and admonish the latest administration at the same time. Partial memoir and in part critique of the president comes less than two years after Panetta retired as Secretary of Defense. As the Director of the CIA from 2009 to 2011, Panetta obviously had deep insight into America’s actions abroad.

Looking back at his tenure, Panetta makes the case that Obama’s decisions and leadership style have made the war against the Islamic State more difficult through Obama’s refusal to push the Iraqi government into keeping a residual force which resulted in the ISIS rise, that he failed to arm Syrian rebels, and failed to follow up against Assad after crossing the “red line.”

He details about the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” while admitting that enhanced interrogation yielded “important, even critical intelligence,” including intelligence on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. If you are looking for any definitive statement regarding his position on the matter though, it is hard to find here.

In all, as with many books from former administration personnel, the book toes the line of self-glorification while balancing praise and criticism of the administration. Panetta’s book is typical to such memoirs, and as such, is neither disappointing nor particularly spectacular.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is very well written and provides a lot of insight into the background of a truly dedicated public servant. I first met Leon Panetta back around 1978. He as my local congressman had come to the university I was attending in San Luis Obispo to give a talk. Back then I was extremely conservative and jumped at the chance to go experience a real life "liberal". He was great. It was obvious that he was one to put America first and then politics second. Talking about things like fiscal responsibility decades before it became popular. What I got out of that hour or so talk was a lifelong interest in politics. Over the years my views moderated. I followed his career through the Clinton years, and his appointment as CIA director under Obama. Folks if you ever have the chance please go and experience him on the speaking circuit. Few other people can top him.

There is a lot going around now that says this book bashes Obama. I disagree. Liberals and conservatives alike take a beating. You need to read the entire book to understand where he is coming from.

Highly recommended.
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By Paula on October 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating insight on how our government works. It's also a great human interest story about a man from humble beginnings who rose to be one of the most influential men in America. It's a true american success story. I started by downloading the sample preview. After reading the beginning I knew I just had to read the rest of the book. Given the timing of the release its hard not to see possible political motivations behind the scenes. If you're a supporter of the current administration you might get a little heartburn. If you're an opponent you're sure to experience a little schadenfreude. Either way its an excellent read. Well written and not at all boring. I found it to be a page turner. No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, knowledge is knowledge. I recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I would lean politically toward being Republican I have always admired Mr. Panetta for all the service he has given to our country. That admiration has grown even more with this book. Mr. Panetta is truly a public servant. An aspect that I found interesting was how his book and Bob Gate's book agreed as to recounting the historical events and time periods the overlapped both books. I would posit that if those two gentlemen had been and would be in positions to lead this country, it would be an entirely different place. This is a great book...I rarely give 5 stars. We need more Panetta's in this Republican's viewpoint...
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