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
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.
Second only to Paul Johnson's Modern Times
It felt like you were in the room listening to him explain to you personally an important era of US and World history.
It made me respect the dedication of some of those in public service who do so not for fame or monetary gain, but because they have the capacity and knowledge to make decisions, are not afraid to do so.
A very underrated public servant who was not in public service because he needed a government job or sought fame, but because he was needed.
This book offers an in depth view into the life of "Rummy". I really enjoyed him as the narrator because it really felt like he was telling his story rather than hearing it from another person. I know he never will....but it would have been really interesting if he opened up about some of the dirt he did in his offices.
Donald Rumsfeld writes a much more interesting book than I expected. I had no idea that he started serving in government back in the early 1970's or the amount of open and honest assessments he could relay about government and decisions made from Nixon through Bush, Jr.
Along with his memories of government, Rumsfeld also served in the business world and has some interesting stories to tell from that side. He displays a deep understanding of government, interference in business and how nations react/act; Rumsfeld explains the various pressures brought to bear on nations through diplomatic channels and how coalitions are built.
This is a must read for those really interested in how the US made the decisions its made.
A directly written account of most of the major episodes in Rumsfeld's political and business life. It becomes more interesting and less hagiographic toward the end, which is clearly still simmering in Rumsfeld's mind at the time of writing. Interesting inside takes on the inside politics of the Bush admininstration--or at least it will be interesting for those who are not wearing ideological blinders. Rumsfeld isn't. This should be a test for leftie listeners and for those who defend Bush policies without even thoughtful reservation due to the left's decade of slime and ad hominem attack--are YOU as open-minded as Donald Rumsfeld? I felt challenged by this obviously self-written memoir. Rumsfeld is a good leader of a particular Midwestern cultural stamp and someone whose intelligence and forthrightness ought to be an example to all politicians.
A well articulated book from what seems to be a master communicator and an intellect. Secretary Rumsfeld certainly knows how to make an argument. It is difficult however to imagine that in this century with all the intelligence mechanisms and technology available to the US war decisions that led to the perish of hundreds of thousands of human beings were made on the intuition of a President and his Secretary of Defense. No wonder Secretary Rumsfeld had to use the second half of his bio to explain and defend the unjustified war. To better understand the case of Secretary Rumsfeld, I suggest you read or hear
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