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Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Former secretary of state Albright's professionalism shines through as she does double duty as author and narrator. As simple and straightforward as her reading is, Albright creates a personal atmosphere, given the book's insider material and anecdotes. Addressing everything from the current war in Iraq to stories of her origin in politics, Albright reaches out to her listeners in her charismatic and clear-sighted manner. While there is little shift in her tone and voice, the reading is clear and well pronounced, allowing the material the respect it deserves. Audiences will find themselves intrigued and entertained by Albright's tales and her narration.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Madeleine Albright served as America's sixty-fourth Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. Her distinguished career also includes positions on Capitol Hill, the National Security Council, and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She is a resident of Washington, D.C., and Virginia.
Madeleine Albright served as America's sixty-fourth Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. Her distinguished career also includes positions on Capitol Hill, the National Security Council, and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She is a resident of Washington, D.C., and Virginia.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
After getting about half way through, I thought that perhaps she was being very nuanced and indirect (she is after all a diplomat) and re read some portions. Alas, she was not being subtle, she just wasn't saying much. Also, it must be noted that her hatred of the Bush administration is not hidden at all. Granted several of her criticisms are spot on target but the bias was annoying. What made it worse was the fact that she never mentioned or analyzed any of Clinton's foreign policy disasters, and there were some that I wanted to hear her take on.
The result is a lot of nothing. There is no real guidance given. There are no great insights that would be beyond anyone who has been reasonably alert for the last ten years. There are no brilliant flashes or insights into history. Finally, there is no unbiased analysis. The result is a waste of time and money.
Particularly disturbing was her complete flight of fantasy at the end of the text where she presents a vision of what the world could look like in four years with an intelligent US foreign policy. Much of it was either totally unrealistic or based on the assumption that factors totally beyond our control will take place (for example that the Palastinians decide to go with Gandhi style non-violence). Put simply this book should only be read by University Freshman who may lack basic recent history or want a basic look at how the cabinet works.
Full disclosure: I am a Clintonian-Democrat with a Hawkish foreign policy.
Clearly the work of an experienced diplomat, the book is as much about attitude and style as about concrete policy advice. She scorns black and white thinking, rather asking the president-elect to weigh the interests of other parties in any interactions with soverign states.
Finally, it becomes clear by the last chapter, that only one of the 3 potential president-elects has style and views aligned with those expressed by Ms. Albright.
Disclaimer: I am a 70 year old Electrical Engineering Ph.D. nerd, happily married for 45 years with 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and 6 patents in 5 different fields. Partially retired, I am increasingly fascinated by human behavior, especially in the political arena.
Ms. Albright points out in reading the foreward how the book differs from an actual memo to the president elect which would be confidential. She is clearly providing her perspective in a manner accessible to a broad audience. As a huge number of people have trouble with basic world facts and history. Her presentation provides context for the relatively uninitiated so the information and views she is providing may broadly digested and understood.
For people with more knowledge of politics and the world this may seem a unnecessary review of known facts and situations. This has been the point of some more negative reviews. For me these were a welcome presentation of familar territory through the eyes of Ms. Albright and helped set the mental stage for the common-sense and pithy observations and advise she provides throughout the text.
Ms. Albright takes some hits in other reviews for pointing out how our current policies have hurt our standing internationally. It is my opinion those who cheer on the USA like a football team - we are number 1! - without examining and accepting the global realities will not like this book. For me her presentation was refreshing. Recognizing and giving voice to areas of decline can provide the hope and opprotunity to reverse the trend and lead to improvent.
I hope the next president is wise enough to see and use her counsel. The experience and clarity will be invaluable to navigating the international mess we find ourselves left with.
I am not sure this would be a "page turner" for me in the print edition, but it is certainly a "disk changer" in the audio edition. The audio version is unabridged with 8.5h of audio on 8 CD's! I feel Ms. Albright's reading of the text adds appreciably to the book.
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