Much more than a set of policy prescriptions, Secretary Albright's writing blends lessons from the past with forward-looking suggestions about how to assemble a first-rate foreign policy team, anticipate the actions of other key countries, make full use of presidential power without repeating the excesses of the Bush administration, and revive America's commitment to its founding ideals.
Albright's advice is candid, as if conveyed in a confidential memo, and seasoned with humor and stories from her years in office. Drawing on her extensive experience as an advisor to two presidents and a key figure in four presidential transitions, she provides an insider's analysis of U.S. options in addressing the decisive issues of our era: terrorism, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rivalries in the Middle East, the potential for nuclear war, and headaches created by such troublesome leaders as Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russia's Vladimir Putin, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and North Korea's Kim Jong-il.
The 2008 election promises to be one of the most dramatic in our nation's history. Memo to the President Elect offers indispensable guidance for the next occupant of the White House - and a wealth of insights for voters to think about before deciding who that person will be.
©2008 Madeleine Albright; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
The first half of this book is like a Political Science 101 lecture, if that. The advice being given is often embarrassingly simple--"a president must find time to exercise every day." The second half of the book is more what I was expecting, with overviews of our relations with most of the world's important nations. But by the time she got around to it, I was already pretty disgusted.
This is a good follow up to the Bob Woodward books on the Bush presidency (Plan of Action; State of Denial). While Woodward employs a painstakingly detailed micro-perspective of one U.S.administration, Albright's approach gives us a whirlwind tour of current world politics from the macro-perspective of her long experience. Read this one as soon as you can. It will be dated by January 2009.
Mostly non-fiction: biographies, history, science, etc.
I got this to read for the last presidential election cycle, but never got around to it. At least I made it for this cycle. I am sure Albright would agree her advice is still good for the upcoming President Elect. I was real excited about the introductory material that Albright came from getting out of meetings between her former foreign minister colleagues: "Madeleine's Exes". I'd like to know more about individually where the different pieces of advice came from. Still, I am sure Albright could provide all the cogent and considered advice on her own, from my recollection of a particularly insightful talk she gave at Oakland Universty.
Basically, her advice and humble and flexible. She's not afraid of military action but sees many options in foreign policy before that - and the spots in the world that need the attention.
Great narration by Albright herself.
This book is nothing more than left-leaning propaganda. The opening chapter talks about the high position of the US, and peace around the world when Clinton left office. I guess she has forgotten that we had recently had the USS Cole attack, and were heavily involved in Kosovo. The US reputation in the Middle East was no better - Clinton trusted Arafat and helped legitimize the corrupt Fatah terrorists in Gaza.
She also chooses to overlook how much the Clinton foreign policy team initially supported the Iraq War - based partially on intelligence their administration gathered. Only when things didn't go perfectly did the Clintonites bail and go on the attack. This self-promoting book continues that policy.
It's easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback.
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