After 9/11, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright decided to examine the role of religion in modern politics. This is the interesting result. Albright's experience as a public speaker and professor is evident in this eminently listenable audiobook. While one wishes that she had audibly smiled when narrating the book's humorous anecdotes, she does everything else right. She makes good use of her modulated, pleasantly raspy voice, varying her tone and rhythm to lighten the dense information and pacing the narration so that listeners have time to digest the material. An informative author interview is an added benefit at the end. This is an excellent production of a timely volume.
In The Mighty and the Almighty, Madeleine Albright examines the profound impact of religion on America's view of itself, the effect on U.S. policy of the rise of the Christian right, the Bush administration's successes and failures in responding to 9/11, the challenges posed by the war in Iraq, and the importance of understanding Islam. She offers a balanced but, when necessary, devastating analysis of U.S. strategy, and condemns those of all faiths who exploit religious fervor to create divisions or enhance their own power.
In this illuminating account, Albright argues that, to be effective, U.S. policy makers must understand the power and place of religion in motivating others and in coloring how American actions are perceived. Defying the conventional wisdom, she suggests not only that religion and politics are inseparable, but that their partnership, when properly harnessed, can be a force for justice and peace.
©2006 Madeleine Albright; (P)2006 HarperCollinsPublishers
"In a remarkably accessible, even breezy style, she looks at these issues in light of recent history both abroad and at home." (Publishers Weekly)
"A thoughtful and absorbing look at religion and world politics for readers of all religious and political persuasions." (Booklist)
I greatly enjoyed Albright's autobiography, so I was really looking forward to this book. I also enjoy it when author's read their own work, especially in a historical work such as this.
I liked the book overall, however, I find it lacking any coherent viewpoint or binding argument about what should be done about a great current political problem. Rather, it just seems to ramble from one point to another with a lot of commentary about how poorly the Bush administration is doing. By the time I got done, I did not think I had any significant now insight into this problem.
This book could have been sooo much better if Sec. Albright had used a professional to narrate her book. I found myself zoning out for all but the most intriquing parts because her voice was so hard to focus on. She drones. Very monotone. Very bad narration. Aside from that, interesting perspective.
As one who was raised socially conservative but is moving left I found the book fascinating yet lacking. The author starts down many paths, but leaves the listener wanting more. Over all it is an insightful book, but I wish it was a deeper look at the relation of faith and politics.
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