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

4.4 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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“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.”
--Newsweek

“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.”
--Bloomberg.com

“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.
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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 (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This lengthy book is an extremely detailed summary about national and international events that occurred between January, 2001, and January, 2009, that involved Dr. Rice's distinguished service as National Security Council Director and as Secretary of State. The details are extensive and deep. This book is a must for readers who need to know the intricacies of every security issue and diplomatic issue during that time frame. It provides the critical `ring-side' seat of how history was made during the Bush_43 presidency.

The arduous task of international relations is described and reviewed as a cumbersome process, often ruled by `Murphy's Law.' Many of these problems are intractable with no immediate solution in sight. The first and starts are often reversed and have to be continuously redone and revisited.

I found the chapters dealing with the aftermath of 9/11 and the nettlesome diplomatic issues surrounding the Middle East, North Korea, China and Russia insightful. Partial progress on a variety of fronts was made, but set-backs also occurred. Notable successes were also achieved, but the reader needs to read the book to fully grasp the outcomes and details.

The book clearly demonstrates that President Bush was cognizant of issues confronting him and could make a quick decision as to what needed to be done. In short, President Bush "gets it" and did so from the get-go with a clear vision and understanding of the paradigms and boundary decisions that guided his decisions.

If I had a criticism of the book it is this. Although referencing the framework of American security and diplomatic issues in a few sentences and phrases, it wasn't until the Epilogue that Dr.
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