Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches. With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age 30; his cabinet-level positions in the Nixon and Ford White Houses; his assignments in the Reagan administration; and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector.
Rumsfeld addresses the challenges and controversies of his illustrious career, from the unseating of the entrenched House Republican leader in 1965, to helping the Ford administration steer the country away from Watergate and Vietnam, to bruising battles over transforming the military for the 21st century, to the war in Iraq, to confronting abuse at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.
Along the way, he offers his plainspoken, first-hand views and often humorous and surprising anecdotes about some of the world's best-known figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein, from Henry Kissinger to Colin Powell, from Elvis Presley to Dick Cheney, and each American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
Rumsfeld relies not only on his memory but also on previously unreleased and recently declassified documents. Thousands of pages of documents not yet seen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website.
Known and Unknown delivers both a fascinating narrative for today's listeners and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow's historians.
Donald Rumsfeld is donating his proceeds from sales of Known and Unknown to military charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation.
©2011 Donald Rumsfeld (P)2011 Penguin Audio
A fascinating look at a long and distinguished political and business career. I was impressed to learn so much concerning the background of decisions and major events of the the last few decades. I came away with an increased appreciation for the complexity of decisions after 9-11 and for Mr. Rumsfeld's significant role. I also came away realizing what useless and simplistic sound bites the typical news program provides.
Tip of the hat that Mr. Rumsfeld narrated the entire book himself. I enjoyed the book very much.
I have listened/read about this time in our history from several different leaders on both sides of the aisle, this is one of the most biased and honest perspectives of any I've seen. Mr. Rumsfeld has no fear in clearly stating his opinion of any important figure in his time in politics and business.
All the President's Man.
He's considerably more likable after understanding his perspective, until you hear from the source it is easy to think of this man as an evil caricature behind the scenes,
An interesting glimpse into the life of a powerful figure during a trying time for our nation. I was a part of DoD during the Rumsfeld years (much lower on the totem pole) so had some understanding of Rumsfeld's background. This memoir filled in the gaps. Though he spends a good amount of time pointing fingers at other agencies and organizations, I enjoyed the frank commentary on the major events of his tenure as Secretary of Defense and also earlier in his political career. Whether you agree with his decisions or not, it's hard to come away from the book without appreciating his public service. Narrating himself was a huge plus. I wish more autobiographies were read by their authors. It was a nice touch that only added to the enjoyment.
Best I've heard, bought CDs for my Sister
speaking quality was excellent
yes but was 28 hours
I have listened to this book over and over. So interesting.
It is full of information never disclosed before. I am a political junkie and could not put it down.
Whether or not you love or hate him, Donald Rumsfeld does an amazing job in recounting his experiences & insights over several decades of American politics. Having him as the narrator was fantastic and he does an outstanding job in making potentially dry material very enjoyable. My only wish is that he spent a bit more time focusing on his period of time with the Bush administration--but overall, a great read and I highly recommend it for those interested in learning the "inside story" of politics.
Yes, it was great getting to get a behind the scenes glimpse of some of America's history.
Like hearing his own words, read by him.
I did, but required that I spread it out over a week of driving to and from work.
Donald Rumsfeld has lived through an amazing period of US history. He has told his story with honesty and candor. Try putting aside your ignorant bias and hearing history from the horses mouth.
Secretary Rumsfeld's reading is excellent and very listenable.
After 30 hours he seems like a good friend.
I love books that are read by their authors, but Don is so dry, he could have upped the energy level a bit.
This book really brings out many of the points that the media seemed to skip over during the War on Terror and the events leading up to it.
The only thing that turned me off from this book, is I get the feeling that Don is trying to prove to us that he was smarter than everyone else.
He constantly brings up memo's or other events that are amazingly coherent and timely, just prior to big events.
If all this book is total fact, than he is some kind of seer into the future, I think its a bit skewed trying to go back and write a book on the past, when you know how all the events played out.
Anyway, a really great listen, I was strangely addicted.
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