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Known and Unknown: A Memoir Paperback – May 29, 2012
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—PETER BAKER, The New York Times
“I don’t care whether you’re . . . a liberal or a conservative or something else: If you’re interested in this period of history, the book is a total feast.”
—JAY NORDLINGER, National Review
“A meaty, well-written book that will be a primary source for historians . . . This power memoir deserves to be read with the care that went into writing it.”
—CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY, BusinessWeek
-Rush Limbaugh (interview transcript)/2/8/2001
"Readers might be appreciative to find themselves in possession of a serious memoir, more in keeping with the older Washington tradition of Dean Acheson or Henry Kissinger. As might the historians."
-Kimberly Strassel/Wall Street Journal/2/8/2011
"The battle is joined. After a long silence, Donald Rumsfeld opened both barrels Tuesday, releasing his memoir, Known and Unknown . Early leaks of the book's defiant take on his life, times, and conduct of the Iraq War drew howls from some of the targets of his score-settling...But Rumsfeld battles on, taking his unapologetic account to the public."
-John Barry/Newsweek-The Daily Beast/2/8/2011
"The book places the reader in Rumsfeld's chair and is a serious stab at telling the history of a consequential period in America through the eyes of one of its most consequential players. It will be an important addition to the history of our time."
-Peter Baker (New York Times White House correspondent)/Foreign Policy/2/9/2011
Rumsfeld "describes the highs and lows of a long and dramatic career and discloses some behind the scenes details that may shock you."
-Sean Hannity (interview transcript)/2/9/2011
"Known and Unknown is a meaty, well-written book that will be a primary source for historians...this power memoir deserves to be read with the care that went into writing it."
"'Dismissive' is a word often used to describe Rumsfeld, but 'dismissive' perfectly describes his critics, who are unwilling or unable to re-examine their own assumptions in the light of new or overlooked information and fresh perspective provided by Rumsfeld, in his exceedingly well-documented work. With its hundreds of annotations and supplementary documents, Known and Unknown is a significant contribution to the historical record. It is, as Rumsfeld once noted about similar memoirs, 'only from one perspective,' but it's a unique and valuable perspective, a serious work that deserves consideration by any serious student of recent history."
-Jamie McIntyre (former CNN Pentagon correspondent)/Line of Departure/2/10/2011
"It is a terrific book...Let me tell you something, it is absolutely fascinating. He's very blunt in talking about people and issues and so forth, you'll really enjoy it, in my humble opinion."
-Mark Levin (interview transcript)/2/10/2011
Top Customer Reviews
1) Bipartisanship - In terms of thought as well as allegiance, Rumsfeld was not always unary.
2) National Defense - Throughout an illustrious career, he has held many positions that all eventually deal with national defense. His thoughts and actions are truly eye-opening.
3) The Bush Years - There will be the most disagreement with this portion of his recollections, but his recounting of events is infallible unless one allows political dogma to overrule reason.
What struck me most of all while reading Rumsfeld's memoirs were his extensive private and public sector experiences, and how evenly he managed to deal with nearly all he encountered. Obviously a lifelong Republican, his admiration for Reagan and Nixon are apparent during their respective historical chapters/sections, his praise was measured and fair. While he appreciated Gerald Ford's steadfastness, he also noted the naïvety shown by Ford and JFK while younger.Read more ›
I think like most Americans, I have my own issues with Rumsfeld, and still have quite a few of them. This book goes a long way towards clarifying the reader's understanding of government, the role of government, and the participants in that government. After 726 pages of narrative I found no great surprises, but if your goal is to fill in your understanding of this period in American history from the 1960's through the present, than we both have come to the right place. Rumsfeld possesses a finely tuned mind, and the unflinching ability to make a decision right or wrong, and then EXECUTE BRILLIANTLY. One of the issues for this man is to what extent he executed BAD decisions BRILLIANTLY.
No one who reads this autobiography will question the man's patriotism, or desire to see America continue to dominate the world scene as the world's sole remaining superpower. We will all question his judgments, and how he executed those decisions when he was the point man making the decisions. This book covers Donald Rumsfeld's entire life, and it is an extraordinary life, and very much worth studying.Read more ›
The anecdote is one of many in Rumsfeld's 800-page memoir, Known and Unknown.
The book interestingly opens with Rumsfeld telling the story behind one of the most played footages on TV before, during and after America's Operation Iraqi Freedom: A younger Rumsfeld shaking the hand of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.
Rumsfeld, who served as chief of staff for President Gerald Ford and secretary of defense under Bush II, was also President Ronald Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East. The former envoy puts his 1983 visit to Baghdad--and meeting with Saddam--in context. He writes: "Iraq's Ba'athist regime was at the time the bitter adversary of two nations that threatened the interests of the United States--Syria and Iran." He argues: "Syria, under President Hafez Al-Assad, was a leading supporter of international terrorism and occupied portions of Lebanon, a country that when left to its own devices favored the West." Iran, according to Rumsfeld, "had been a close friend of the United States until the 1979 coup by militant Islamists led by a radical cleric, Ayatollah Khomeini."
From the perspective of Reagan's America in 1983, as spelled out by Rumsfeld, "Iraq sat between these two menaces--Syria and Iran.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like Sec Rumsfeld met him first time in the Ford Administration. Thought he was tough but fair as the Presidents Chief of Staff... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jack-- PSL, St. Lucie Co, Florida
This book is ridiculous. It goes on and on about nothing. I guess I shouldn't have expected much more from a book about a war criminal who killed so many Innocent people in his... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Science Minded
Lot of insights in the book, however, I thought Donald made him greater than what he actually wasPublished 11 months ago by Thomas Treloar
If you like Donald Rumsfeld you'll love the book. If you don't like Don Rumsfeld you'll hate the book because he has his facts straight.Published 11 months ago by Joe Webber
Wake up America. Read this book! Donald Rumsfeld was the right man at the right place at the right time. He devoted his life to serving our nation. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer