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Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box Hardcover – September 29, 2009
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From the Back Cover
Before long, and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal. Former president George H. W. Bush had been known for saying "Read my lips." I began urging colleagues and reporters to "Read my pins."
It would never have happened if not for Saddam Hussein. When U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright criticized the dictator, his poet in residence responded by calling her "an unparalleled serpent." Shortly thereafter, while preparing to meet with Iraqi officials, Albright pondered: What to wear? She decided to make a diplomatic statement by choosing a snake pin. Although her method of communication was new, her message was as old as the American Revolution—Don't Tread on Me.
From that day forward, pins became part of Albright's diplomatic signature. International leaders were pleased to see her with a shimmering sun on her jacket or a cheerful ladybug; less so with a crab or a menacing wasp. Albright used pins to emphasize the importance of a negotiation, signify high hopes, protest the absence of progress, and show pride in representing America, among other purposes.
Part illustrated memoir, part social history, Read My Pins provides an intimate look at Albright's life through the brooches she wore. Her collection is both international and democratic—dime-store pins share pride of place with designer creations and family heirlooms. Included are the antique eagle purchased to celebrate Albright's appointment as secretary of state, the zebra pin she wore when meeting Nelson Mandela, and the Valentine's Day heart forged by Albright's five-year-old daughter. Read My Pins features more than 200 photographs, along with compelling and often humorous stories about jewelry, global politics, and the life of one of America's most accomplished and fascinating diplomats.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
The photography by John Bigelow Taylor allows the reader to see each pin up close...something impossible to do even if one were standing near the former Secretary of State. We've been through ping pong diplomacy and shuttle diplomacy but pin diplomacy is certainly the most colorful of all and this enchanting book is not to be missed.
Not a novel, nor a biography, but still a great collectible worthy of anyone's coffee table or library.
a mix of history and one woman's passion for unique jewelry.she was gifted most, bought some, but all have a story to them.
in her own words 'A LITTLE BIT OF POLITICS WITH A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR'
bees,butterflys,my favorite a dragon,all unique pieces. most were from heads of state, who learned of her passion for these.it fast became a custom to gift her one, when she went to another country doing her job.
definitely a conversation starter. will look good on your coffee table or anywhere you want to lose yourself in it.
great gift - we got this for a ladies birthday gift and liked it so much we got another for us.
Even having received lavish gifts such as jewelry from Tiffany and Co. for Christmas, I can honestly say that this has been my most enjoyed gift of the year. I cannot wait to see the exhibit that is to follow.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great price, just like new and prompt delivery. Originally my son had gifted me one and paid $39.95 which I loaned to a friend and never got it back. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Anita Rutter
Very informative and the jewelry photos are beautiful. I recommend for the insights as well as a perspective on wearing jewelry.Published 3 months ago by Patricia M.
Remember her shaking hands with the North Korean monsters on their territory. She is largely responsible for the success of the criminal aspect of the North Korean regime. Read morePublished 5 months ago by TC
Wonderful book for the collector of famous and important leaders, artists and people, their beautiful jewelry and meaning of their possessions.Published 8 months ago by Sis
This book was sent as a gift and it was well received. I'm told it is a very nice used copy.Published 8 months ago by minnie
As a collector of pins and brooches really enjoyed this book. The stories behind many of the pins is delightful.Published 8 months ago by gmu86