From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.
©2014 Robert M. Gates (P)2014 Random House Audio
There is so much history that it would be worth listening to again just to make sure you didn't miss the context of the story. The story illustrates the history of two modern wars .
A contemporary review of the politics and entrenched bureaucrats in Washington today. A real heart warming story of the soldiers and veterans in the system and the true feelings of the Secretary and those who really care for the people in the military. Worth listening to the narrator.
Mr. Secretary, Leader, Humanitarian and Reformer!
I enjoyed learning first-hand about the Department of Defense inner workings during the Bush and Obama administrations. I had never before seen political history through a cabinet Secretary's vantage point.
Gates gave great insight into the defense concerns and inner thinkings of the Bush and Obama administrations. Moreover, he gave a thorough explanation of the reasons why the United States moved into Afghanistan and Iraq. I appreciated Gates's explanation of that part of recent history.
The narrator could have used more inflection in his reading. I found that the narrator didn't add much to the story's interest. However, I believe that the writing style of the book also didn't lead to much creativity or intrigue.
No. Gates spends a good deal of the book going into the backgrounds--both personal and professional--of his friends and colleagues. I found the details of many of the introduced figures to be very boring and hard to follow--especially for one who didn't have first-hand knowledge of the Defense Department during Gates's government tenure.
The novel and audiobook would have been more interesting if it the story had been more streamlined and the writing more concise.
Gates is deffinately the Hero in his book. He does , indeed , have much to brag about. And he does. That said , I wonder if he would change anything now, given what we know. I doubt it.
He seems a consumant politician. The difference is , if he is to believed , one who gets things done, and , as usual , without stepping on too many of the wrong toes, at the wrong time.
Nonetheless , it is a good listen, even the parts I , personally, do not care for. That would be the kudos to those who kept him on. And a certain SOS.
Like they had any choice. If they had had anyone better than him , they would have invited him to take a long walk off a short plank. And, if he screwed up , well, you know what the response would have been.
All in all, it's a good listen. I believe he did care deeply about our men in combat , and that's rare these days.
I found this book to be fascinating, not sure I'd agree with all his assessments where basically he is right and whoever disagreed with him is wrong, but overall you have to admire the man and his accomplishments. Good narration
It ranks among the highest particularly for this genre. Added fascinating background and interesting insight into a difficult time for our country.
Secretary Gates' passion for the troops and his personal concerns and drive to get them what they needed and the responsibility he felt for them.
There really only is one character in this story - Gates.
When Sec. Gates met a Texas A&M graduate in a hospital (double amputee). The solider reminded Gates that he had handed him his diploma upon graduation and asked that he would award him his decorations at Texas A&M. And he did, in front of an entire football crowd.
I particular liked his insight of nation's going to war. The definition of a Pessimist is an Optimist with experience.
A much better and less monotone, boring narrater. way to much non essential detail and repetition.
watched several interviews and reviews of book on tv and was expecting a much more exciting and entertaining experience.
Total monotone, like listening to water drip. Could not finish listening to it.Worst narrator I ever listened to.
Had some good behind the scenes information but overall just plain boring. Yuk
Will definitely research and listen to a sample of a book like this next time.
It is one of the Best Audiobooks I have listened to!
When he was approached by the mother of a young Soldier in the restaurant and asked to bring her son home safe. It was very emotional to me personally.
I have to say that I was moved personally by the whole book and more than once I had tears in my eyes while listening to his feelings about the losses suffered by our young Soldiers. I am a father, a Soldier and a Patriot and I found this book simply awesome!!!
I really admire Bob Gates even more after this book. As an old Soldier I appreciate his dedication to our young troops. Thank you for your service to your country Sir!
Near the top. The story and the performance were both very strong. I had no opinion of Robert M. Gates before I read this book. Now, I have an opinion and it is very positive.
At first, the inside story on the administrations of Bush and Obama but in the end his compassion for the soldiers; the men and women who gave all for this country.
No other George Newbern performances and no other Robert M. Gates books.
While I most looked forward to his comments about the two presidents he served, I was blown away by his temperate and even handed dealing of the two very different men.
During his tenure in office, there was much in the news about Robert Gates that I can recall; I did not pay much attention to him when he was in office. I am sorry now that I didn't. Having read Duty, I am very impressed by the man, his accomplishments, his heart, determination, his character and his poise.
I for one, hope that this great nation will always have people like Robert M. Gates to serve the people.
Insightful, remarkable and frightening.
Robert Gates. A remarkable individual who was the right man at the right time to serve as Secretary of Defense. I never fully understood, until now, how critical this role is in our government. Sadly, it also portrays our elected officials in a light that is not flattering. But hey, we already know what the issues are in Washington. I felt Gates did a great job of being evenhanded and thoroughly detailed in his description of events.
Debates over Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly how distrustful Biden is of the military.
No, too long.
I wish all Americans would read this, because too often we want to use the military to solve problems where diplomacy is the answer. There are no such things as a short wars or conflicts these days, and this book demonstrates why this is so.
It is great book, gave an insight of decision making process of the Federal Government at the highest level ( I am an ex federal government employee). It was surprising to learn that power of red tape ridden bureaucracy even in matter of life and death ( in conducting wars). Robert Gates came across to me as non partisan patriotic American who had the interests of country in mind. Strongly recommended for reading.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.