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
50 chapters is always a little daunting. I couldn't write 50 on a topic. The dichotomy that is the premise is good. We know that something is unknown or probably unknowable when me must take an action. However, waiting for information may be costly or even futile - the better information may never occur. Decisions must be made. In economics it is uncertainty rather than risk.
Words we use matter..Every once in a while a Great leader is born. To an ordinary American family. And over a lifetime of leadership we're seeing how important this person was to our history! Secretary Rumsfeld is one of the people! This is a living history book!
Mr Rumsfeld is a great deal of insight to a lot of historical events. I found it very inspirational and informative.
Loved the book. Rumsfeld has a down home way as he speaks. He is refreshingly frank about mistakes he and others made. He is also just as frank about the successes. This kind of honesty is unusual in a litigation fearful society.
I know that now. Well written, well performed. I have been stunned to see how this rich and thoughtful account of a life of public service has gone unrecognized. While generally supportive of The commander in Chief during his second tenure as head of the defense department, he does convey that bush let some critical issues go unaddressed.
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.
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