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Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace Hardcover – Other Calendar, October 7, 2014
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“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
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.
- Publisher : Penguin Press; First Edition (October 7, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 512 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1594205965
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594205965
- Item Weight : 1.88 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.58 x 9.56 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #363,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The book reads very well. It is truly a page turner. It is written in a way that it makes you feel you are sitting down talking to him at coffee listening to his stories. This book really gives the reader a peak into the decision process at the higher levels. He has some interesting stories that will enlighten your view of the critical events over the past few years.
The down side of this book numerous. His stories are entertaining but really don't dive deep into the details. His partisanship seems into his stories. It does take away from the stories. He comes across as very sanctimonious, as doing the greater good but at the same time he was the chief enabler for the fornicator in chief, Bill Clinton. It is also very interesting how little he refers to President Obama in the book. I have a feeling that might be the next book.
Overall, if you can take the slant his stories of process makes the book worthwhile.
I suspect this is a security and confidentialty issue as much as it is a political one, for him to choose what to say and write in this book (and also, what not to say and write). In effect, this is a nicely white-washed version of events in history that does little to help us understand why leaders chose him and more importantly, why he was so effective at leading huge intsitutions like the CIA, the Defense Department, a President's Staff and managing nearly seven terms of Congress as a Representative of the central coast of California.
Perhaps we might find out more from the people around him as they write their own memoirs about Leon Panetta and why indeed, the worthy fights he took on, were won. For now however, this version left me unsatisfied and unfulfilled as a source for lessons and principles of effective leadership practices.
My invitation to Mr. Panetta (and I firmly beleive he could write this): Conisder writing the Seven Laws of Effective Leadership in Big Government…from the Executive to Congress, from the CIA to the Pentagon, from a Congressional District to a University-based Institute. I'll stand in line to buy and read that !
On the negative side, he makes you wonder whether he was really the right guy for the CIA. The agencies are in their own world, and someone who is basically honest and straightforward probably isn't a good fit for them. After all, they can't very well tell the truth much of the time - and it begins to be a way of life. I also wonder about his belief that drones are a good tool as long as they don't kill too many peripheral people. Apparently, killing one person (particularly the guy's wife) is okay, but 20 or 30 incidental folks would be too many. What is the magic number? And what ever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty" and "Thou shalt not kill"? Also one wonders what we would think if the Chinese were to take the same approach to a Uighur terrorist they determined was holed up somewhere in a foreign country.
I recommend this book to everyone who believes that our current government needs new leadership and that Leon Panetta is the prototype of what that leadership should look like.
This is a very enlightening book about past and current problems, solutions and non-solutions.